Carnaval in Pernambuco (Recife/ Olinda) - Traditional & Laidback
popular Carnival destinations in Brazil, the festivals organized in Recife and Olinda, cities in
Pernambuco(a small state in Northern Brasil), are arguably the most traditional. That said, both have their own characteristics and highlights.
The good thing is
Recife and Olindaare conveniently close to each other so you can experience them both!
|In Recife, Carnival is – more than in other cities – very much music orientated; every style has its own designated area in the city.
However, everybody starts together at Saturday morning when a huge street parade, the so called Galo da Madrugada ('Rooster of the Dawn'), twists itself through the masses.
Because the spectators are supposed to follow the parade, the Galo da Madrugada turns into the largest bloco in Brazil, with over a million participants!
Galo da Madrugada, Street Carnival Recife - Pernambuco
Another highlight of the
Carnaval in Recifeis on Monday night, when in front of the church Nossa Senhora do Rosário dos Pretos various groups of Maracatú (religious Afro-Brazilian dance) gather to perform an impressive traditional slave ceremony.
At midnight, the music stops, there is a minute’s silence and the lights get dimmed. Then, the ceremony continues in a cacophony of drums and chants in African languages in order to please ‘the gods’ and the party continues into the wee hours... This memorable event is called Noite dos Tambores Silenciosos (Night of the Silent Drums).
Carnival in Olindais famous for its whopping one and a half week long 24/7 street Carnaval. Party Central is the square at the corner of Rua do Amparo and Rua Prudente (called Quarto Cantos; Four Corners).
While the cobblestone streets are packed, huge colourful paper-maché dummies are sticking out from the crowd and sway to the upbeat frevo music and more ethnic tunes.
Street Carnival of Olinda - Pernambuco
|In Olinda, some people put a lot of effort in their dress, others a lot less but bottom-line: everybody is happy!
The same goes for spontaneity regarding blocos (themed street parades by a certain group).
In other cities like Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, these are very much orchestrated but in Olinda things are more mellow: new blocos can be formed at once and everybody can join in.
One of the highlights of Carnaval in Olinda is the opening day, which starts with the bloco of As Virgens do Bairro Novo, a very amusing drag queen parade.
Safety advice Carnaval