Carnival Street Parties
The party never stops during Carnaval. After securing your tickets for the parades and the parties at night, it's time to decide what to do during the day. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there are so many the options that you'll want to come back every year!
With over 500 choices of street parties every day, for every theme, age, and taste imaginable, the famous carnival Blocos (meaning "blocks") are where all the fun is. The funny names, ease of access, and relaxed vibe are very different from a parade at the Sambadrome or a gala at the Copacabana Palace. The Blocos are usually the most popular option among young people and also happen before and after the Carnaval, in the so-called "Pre" and "Post-Carnaval".
The Blocos and Cordões of street carnival are two of the "seeds" that influenced the Samba Schools. A tradition dating from 1886, the Cordões gathered revelers in costumes of the same theme that paraded through the city streets in a line, following a master's whistle and the sound of drums.
The Blocos - which replaced the Cordões the following century - are less organized. They don't usually have requirements regarding costumes (or any costume at all!), and are bound together only by the sound of a live band or car with a sound system.
The "blocks" have been gaining new strength in recent years. Not only in Rio, but also in other cities of the country. As they make their way around a neighborhood or stay stationary on a large street, they usually attract many residents of the surrounding neighborhoods in which they happen. In Rio, the South Zone is the area with the largest amount of Blocos.
Some outstanding Blocos of recent years are:
- Banda de Ipanema
- Bloco das Poderosas
- Bloco do Sargento Pimenta
- Céu na Terra
- Cordão da Bola Preta
- Cordão do Boi Tolo
- Empurra Que Pega
- Fogo e Paixão
- Não Deixe o Rock Morrer
- Pede Passagem
- Que Merda É Essa
- Simpatia É Quase Amor
- Suvaco do Cristo
The best way to keep track with and access a complete list of Blocos and their meeting times is by downloading the app Blocos de Rua Carnaval, available for iPhone and Android.