The Carnival street parties in Rio de Janeiro deserve attention. If you come to Rio before or during Carnival and don’t experience one you definitely missed out on something. It is here you will experience that crazy atmosphere you’ve heard about; it is here where rhytms and drink stimulate erotic encounters of the third degree. The happiness and euphoria is impossible too describe. So what are they then?

Carnival street party

A crowded bloco party. Photo copyright© Douglas Engle

A Group of Friends
In Rio groups of friends meet up to play Samba, dance and socialize, if they grow in popularity they can turn in to so called blocos. These have meetings/street parties on a more regular basis, during Carnival they all have ensaios when they parade around a designated street block (hence the name bloco). Everyone can of course join these street parties.

With some exceptions these blocos start to meet from November all the way until Carnival. There is no official forum with information how and where these parties are held, it’s all more ore less on a mouth-to-mouth basis. Just before Carnival, as the ensaios start to take place, the newspaper O Globo list all of importance and in their Friday magazine Veja Rio the week before Carnival have all info for the Carnival week.

Growing in Popularity
The last couple of years the interest for these street parties has grown and this can make some of the more famous ones very crowded. It could therefor be a good idea to try a less famous bloco.

You Have to Go!
Maybe you don´t have to do like my good friends Phil & Sarah who went for 16 blocos in 14 days!! But you definitely should give it a try, the Carnival street parties is a must!


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