Do you celebrate Carnival?

The world’s biggest carnival celebrations happen in Brazil. In Rio and São Paulo, the samba schools (escolas de samba) offer the famous parades (desfiles) in the Sambódromo, with thousands of members and spectacularly decorated floats (carros alegóricos) demonstrating specific themes.

During carnival, groups of dancers and street bands called blocks (blocos) parade the streets with many of the revelers (foliões) wearing costumes (fantasias).

Another popular feature of carnival, especially in Salvador, is the trio elétrico – band on a float, a huge truck, adapted with giant speakers and a stage on top, where musicians and singers perform to the delight of thousands of fans who follow the truck as it goes slowly through the streets.

Throughout the country, many clubs also arrange carnival balls (bailes).

The state of Pernambuco is famous for its carnival celebrations and the styles of music and dancing (Frevo and Maracatu). According to The Guinness Book of Records, Recife hosts the largest carnival parade in the world, known as the Galo da Madrugada – Lit. the cock or rooster (US) at daybreak, which takes place in the center of Recife on the Saturday of carnival.

Okay, so whether you celebrate carnival (pular o carnaval) by partying noisily or relaxing quietly at home, do what makes you happy!

Source: Break the Branch? Quebrar o Galho – Common, Everyday Words and Phrases in Brazilian Portuguese, de Jack Scholes, Disal Editora, 2008.

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