Rio street Carnival – A Dica do Dia, Rio & Learn. Portuguese Classes.

Rio street Carnival - A Dica do Dia, Rio & Learn. Portuguese Classes. KIA Carnival

When is the Rio de Janeiro Carnival?

This year the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is taking place from February 24th to February 28th.

Bandas or blocos?

Street Carnival in Rio de Janeiro - Banda de Ipanema

A cordão or bloco usually has a theme, in the likes of a Samba School. Components of the percussion band are volunteers, yet they take their job very seriously. To choose a theme there are rehearsals, a competition, so people have a chance to make friends even before Carnaval season begins.

Street Carnival in Rio de Janeiro - Simpatia e Quase Amorporta bandeira and mestre sala. The bloco may have special colors, or there may be a T-shirt for sale to help pay for the costs. Unlike Special Group Samba Schools most do not receive State subsidies.

Each banda or bloco has its history, a few date back to early XX century. The nuns at Carmelitas, the young and beautiful at Simpatía é Quase Amor, the unlikely combination of families with children and drag queens at Banda de Ipanema, it all makes sense.

Bloco da preta

Bloco da Pretais a Rio street party organized by the Brazilian singerPreta Gil. This Bloco has already featured other famous singers, such as Nego do Borel andLudmilla.

Where:Rua Primeiro de Março, CentroWhen: February 16th, 7 a.m.

This bloco happened last week, it is a party that takes place in what we call pré carnaval (the period before the official carnival). Every year after her street bloco, she performs a private concert especial for carnival!


This Bloco is very famous for its story! People believe that a few years ago someone saw a nun escaping from the Carmelite Convent to join a group of people celebrating Carnival. Today, it’s possible to see many people in this Bloco wearing nun costumes because of this story.

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Where: Esquina da Ladeira de Santa Teresa com Rua Dias de Barros, Santa Teresa.When: February 21st, 1 p.m.

Where: Largo do Curvelo, Santa TeresaWhen: February 25th, 8 a.m.

Céu na terra

Céu na Terra can be classified as the most colorful Bloco. It’s songs are full of joy and are also very creative! It’s possible to see people wearing diverse and colorful costumes here! Around 20.000 people go to Céu na Terra every year and make this time of the year something really special! The name of this bloco means Heaven on Earth, cute right?

Where:R. Almirante Alexandrino, Santa TeresaWhen: February 22nd, 7 a.m.

Cordão do boitatá

This Bloco was created by a group of students and musicians in downtown,1996. It attracts millions of people per year and can last several hours. People can see lots of representations of Brazilian Culture in its beautiful decoration! It’s definitely something that you can’t miss if you come to Rio during Carnival!

Where: Praça XV, Centro.When: February 23rd ,

First rio street carnival bloco: cordão do bola preta

Cordão do Bola Preta is the oldest Bloco in Rioand it’s famous for attracting, literally, millions of people every year. The colors that represent this Bloco are black and white and it’s possible to see many people there wearing clothes with these two colors.

It starts at 9 a.m until 2 p.m and it takes place on Avenida Rio Branco, Centro. But be careful! Pay attention to your personal belongings and to pickpockets that can appear around you due to the huge amount of people located in the same place.

Where: Rua Primeiro de Março, CentroWhen: February 22th, 7 a.m.

Monobloco: one of the best rio street carnival blocos

This is one of the most popular Blocos in Rio. One peculiarity of this Bloco is that the participants of this street party use traditional Samba Instruments to play Samba, Funk, Ciranda and other Brazilian Rhythms.

Where: Rua Primeiro de Março, Centro.When: March 1st, 7 a.m.

Never too many choices…

Street Carnival in Rio de Janeiro - Banda de IpanemaIpanema, Copacabana or Centro you may not even need transportation.

Wearing a costume or not is up to you, but if you are going to play the part you should look the part. Bring something fun from home, or visit shops in the open mall of SAARA, around the Uruguaiana subway station. Casa Turuna is one of the most traditional ones.

Street Carnival in Rio de Janeiro - Banda de Ipanemafavorite bandas and blocos in all sizes for pre, post and during Carnaval. Cariocas are very opinionated and passionate about their favorites. If a good friend invites you to do something else, tag along and enjoy!

Friends sometimes go in coordinated costumes, train choreographies, play funny stunts. If you only want to watch go in plain clothes. If you look good enough people will ask to take photos with you. Cariocas hug people they do not know. If you very stand-offish the experience may be too much for you!

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Que merda é essa?!

Que Merda é Essa?! brings together different kinds of people every carnival, including a huge number of foreigners and young people. The main purpose of this Bloco is to unite different types of musicians, such as composers, singers and amateurs.

Where: Rua Garcia D’Ávila, Ipanema.When: February 23rd, 1 p.m.

Safety issues

Street Carnival in Rio de Janeiro - Banda de Ipanemaread more

Sargento pimenta

If you are a Beatlemaniac, this is your place! Sargento Pimenta, in English Sargent Pepper, is a street party inspired by the works of The Beatles. This Bloco allows people to sing along while dancing famous hits from this band with a touch of Samba. Sargento Pimenta is located in Rua Infante Dom Henrique, Flamengo.

If you want to enjoy carnival, but still listen to international music this bloco is for you!

Where: Av. Infante Dom Henrique 75, Glória.When: February 24th, 8 a.m.

Simpatia é quase amor

Simpatia é Quase Amor was created during Diretas Já, an important period in Brazil. Its name was inspired by a character from a Chronicle called Rua dos Artistas e Arredores. This Bloco attracts almost 20.

Where: Praça General Osório, Ipanema.When: February 23rd, 2 p.m.

Street carnaval etiquette

Street Carnival in Rio de Janeiro - Banda de Ipanema

Putting it bluntly, do not litter our streets. There are heavy fines if you are caught red-handed and we support them! And never even consider peeing in the streets! You may be arrested. There are drinks for sale, including beer. If you cannot hold your liquor know your limits. There are public restrooms available, and if there is a line mind that, and keep track of your bladder, thank you!

Street Carnival in Rio de Janeiro - Banda de Ipanema

Do not make assumptions, and do not take anything too seriously. We have seen everything you can imagine and then some. As we cover professionally Street Carnaval since 1996 feel free to visit our albums for an idea of what to expect!

Suvaco de cristo

Known as Christ’s armpit in English, this Bloco was given the name due to its location. People usually say that this Bloco got this name because of Tom Jobim, a famous Brazilian musician, that used to say that everything in his house was always mouldy because he lived under Christ the Redeemer’s armpit. This Bloco is less crowded than the other Blocos and it’s possible to have lots of fun here!

This year this bloco participated in the pré carnaval period too, so it’s already happened.

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Toco-xona: a great rio street carnival bloco

We have one more Rio carnival street party for you. Toco-xona is the first LGBTQIA street party and it’s super famous too! It was founded by a group of lesbian women and it is still formed of only women! Girl power, am I right? It is also super fun and the music is great!

Where: Praia do Flamengo, 340 (Campo de Terra), FlamengoWhen: February 23rd, 7 a.m.

Now that you have a list of the Rio street Carnival Blocos, you can enjoy Carnivalwith your friends!See you in our next Dica!

Kisses and hugs from Rio.

Ler esta Dica em Português           Leer esta Dica en Español           Rio street Carnival - A Dica do Dia, Rio & Learn. Portuguese Classes.
Click in the links below to see more related Dicas
Mangueira Samba School in Rio de Janeiro
Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro
Brazil’s first samba school
What is a Samba School

What is carnival ?

It’s the main festivity in Brazil which earned the distinction of being “The Greatest Show on Earth.” The Rio Carnival starts on Friday until Tuesday or just a day shy of Ash Wednesday, a significant Catholic tradition which signal the start of Lent.

If you really want to understand the question what is Carnival, head off to the Sambodromo particularly on Carnival Sunday and Monday to experience first-hand why this annual tradition is visited by millions of people from all the part of the world.

What is carnival without the samba?

Prior to the construction of the Sambodromo , the top samba schools go around the streets of Rio to perform the samba. But this all changed when Rio officials and organizers realized that a change is in order.

The objective is two-fold: first is the need to build a facility for the comfort of the tourists, second is the potential revenue through tickets. In 1984, the Sambodromo was completed and almost immediately, the parade registered an increase in participants and spectators.

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