Pre-Carnaval in Rio: making your way through the “blocos”!!

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The famous Carnaval is getting closer and the street parties throughout the city have already started. Hence, spending a crazy weekend in Rio de Janeiro seemed very appropriate.

I know it’s not Carnaval yet, however it’s almost like it is .There’s still a couple of weeks to go, but that hasn’t stopped people from partying as if it was already Carnaval. There are insane “Block Parties”  happening at every hour of every weekend, one after the other, making people walk from the one in the morning, to the one in the afternoon, and so on. It never ends!

How does it work? Easy – go online, find the time & place for each ‘bloco’ and get there on time. A assure you there will be plenty of music and beer to make you happy, and the enormous crowd everywhere around you will never let you feel tired.

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People in Rio are incredibly cheerful. Even though the streets are fully packed and the heat almost melts you, they always keep smiling and every little beat of a drum is an excuse to start dancing the Samba.

All the ‘Blocos’ have their own song, which works as an anthem that is played over and over again during the parade. And each one of them has a weird funny name like “Desliga da Justiça” (turn away from Justice), “Espanta Nenem” (Baby-scarer) or “Me Esquece” (Forget me). They will be playing every weekend until Carnaval, and I assume it only tends to get better!

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Everyone sings like crazy, dances euphorically and drinks non-stop. Someone from the outside could see it simply as a bunch of crazy people jumping and shouting, especially considering that most of them are wearing funny costums. But, for the ones living it, it’s just pure fun and a very good way of meeting people and experiencing Brazil at its best.

I’ve just had a weekend full of non-stop ‘blocos’, with a party in the Modern Art Museum (MAM) in the middle, followed by a 7-hour-impossible-to-sleep bus trip back to Belo Horizonte, and a normal day of work at the office. Right now, I am completely exhausted, but comforted with the feeling that the last days couldn’t have been better enjoyed!!