The carnival season has officially started. If you have decided to stay in Rio de Janeiro this year please keep in mind the Off’s events. What we commonly call Blocos are the off events. It gathers all the small schools and association of people that don’t participate to the official parade competition held in the Sambodrome.
And let me tell you it is a lot of fun. Be prepare to have the experience of a lifetime. The streets are packed with crazy party people all dressed up in amazing costumes either handmade or bought at the close by corner shop. My personal favorite is “Ceù Na Terra” happening very early in the morning between 6h30 and 7h00 in the neighbourhood of Santa Theresa. Your breakfast will be cerveja gelada (cold beer). Yes, Carioca people are crazy about beer. During carnival beer has replaced water.
My advices going to this Bloco would be to have a great costume so you can blend in and make friends easily if you are a foreigner, otherwise if you go without any disguise people will make fun of you because this one is really about getting into the mood of the real values of carnival. As you are in disguise nobody knows who you are or what you do in life therefore the sole purpose of the carnival is respected which is no more social rules, no more social ladder everybody is the same.
My second advice would be to hold you first piss because it is hard to find toilets on the way. You can always find a kind local leaving on the way of the parade that will let you use his toilets for a very small price. One very important advice would be to have a discreet holster with a zipper to put your cash; leave your ID and Credit card at your hotel! The end of the Bloco lands in Lapa where I suggest you go for a bite so your regain energy to go on other Bloco during the same day.
My favourite place around would be “Nova Capela” with their amazing pasteis de camarao, fried shrimps inside a fried dough, if you don’t like shrimp taste the one with cheese. For more information on the street carnival please follow this link: https://diariodorio.com/ . Have a good time in the streets carnival of Rio de Janeiro!