Sunday, January 16, 2011

Rio de Janeiro Carnaval 2011: Here We Come!

Carnaval is coming... Oh wait, it's already here. I know what you are thinking, Carnaval in Brazil is in March this year.

News flash, Carnaval is for like 5 weeks, not 1.  No, it's not official but is anything in Brazil ever official.  You see, Brazilians LOVE Carnaval so they start pre-partying weeks before.

Starting now, you will start seeing mini street blocos happening around Rio de Janeiro. There are also scheduled samba band practices that are more of a party then a rehearsal. And no, this is not just for the big samba schools your tour-guide friend loves taking people too.  The smaller bands have their own practices all over the city, and personally, those are the ones you really want to go to.

Anyway, if you aren't already partaking in the Carnaval Holiday Season, here are some things to remember about Carnaval:

1. If you are prude, stay home. There will be making out, sometimes more. Skin is everywhere and it's a-ok. Drinking is almost a must. Not a holiday for the born-again Christian.

2. You can always wear a costume. It does not matter if it's a costume bloco or not, crazy costumes are always welcome.

3. Men, if it's traditionally a cross-dressing bloco, cross-dress already! The Machismo men of Brazil go all out when it's socially ok to dress as women. Join the fun, women will still make out with you.

4. Blocos happen rain or shine.  Do not bring an umbrella.

5. They are arresting people for urinating on the street.  Crazy, huh.  You can urinate on the street any other time of the year but not when you are at a party with 300,000 people and there are only 2 port-a-potties.  Don't try to argue logic, just wait in line or hide behind a tree.

6. Condoms, condoms, and did I say condoms?  Wear them if you are getting it on. I don't care if it's with your wife. You don't know where anyone has been during carnaval!

7. Have fun! Take pictures! Don't get the camera stolen or it'll be hard to post said pictures onto Facebook.

8. Get your costumes now and avoid Saara at all cost the 2 weeks prior to Carnaval. It turns into craziness personified.

Good luck pre-carnaval partiers and to those prepping to come in March. It is always a good time so I don't see why it would be any different this year!


  1. I'm headed to Rio for Carnival! This will be my first one. Been to Brazil 4 times previously to now living here, but never came during Carnival. Looking forward to the "experience". Any expats interested in meeting up?


  2. This will be my second trip to Rio and first Carnival. To be honest I'm a little scared AND excited! haha
    Luckily I'll be with my Carioca boyfriend so I already have a tour guide and more..:)
    I laughed so hard about number one. Even though I'm from the conservative southern Baptist south, I wouldn't say I am prude but I am sure to be shocked at what my eyes may see..LOL

    My bf likes to laugh and warn me. I've done some research myself and talked to my other Brazilian friends so I've heard some stories that's for sure! haha

    Let's go...I'm as ready as I'll ever be! :)

  3. I always like Carnival in Brazil. its a nice time to leave all stress behind & just party. Although... that's actually Rio's main rule, isn't it? Anyhow if people here are interested to venture out & head into the crowds, get in touch !

    Ps Rachel, are you travelling like many carioca's do, or stay in Rio? I know that about 80% of my Zona Sul friends head out to Angra, Buzios or any other place they can think of :)

  4. Shay, you will LOVE it! Don't worry!

    I don't know if we're staying or leaving the city. We usually stay for part of it and go to the "children's'" blocos. I also may go with a friend to the parade so that will be a deciding factor.