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18 Things Brazilians Want You To Know About Carnival In Brazil

It's the best thing ever.

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3. (FYI: a school of samba named Portela had a giant Jack Black on the runway this year).

Raphael Dias / Getty Images

It was a reference of Gulliver's Travel, in case you didn't recognize it.

And yes, there are people climbing on Jack.


5. In Salvador, Bahia, the most popular genre of carnival music is axé, and people follow the trio elétrico -- an adapted truck with a band that plays live for seven or eight hours, moving along a circuit on the street.

TImbalada / Via Facebook: TimbaladaOficial

The guy in the picture is Denny, singer for Timbalada, a very traditional percussion band in Salvador. You can listen to them here.

6. In Pernambuco, there's the giant figures tradition and the rhythms are frevo and maracatu -- and axé is not welcome.

Diego Galba / Via Facebook: prefeituradeolinda

A few years ago, a mayor tried to pass a law prohibiting axé on Olinda, one of the oldest cities of Pernambuco, during the carnival. The law is not standing, but people really don't care for the rhythm there.

You can listen to the frevo here and here is some nice maracatu for you.

7. And even in Rio de Janeiro, outside the Sambadrome, the crowds take the streets to go dancing with the "blocos" which are carnival bands that perform on the streets.

Fernando Maia / AFP / Getty Images

This one is the biggest, called Cordão do Bola Preta.


9. When it comes to drinking, in São Paulo, a lot of people prefer catuaba than beer.

Instagram: @pauline_gras

Catuaba is a herb that allegedly has aphrodisiacal properties. The drink is extremely cheap and can make you really crazy -- you won't even need to go to the bathroom at all!

The sign suggests: "You can substitute your dignity by catuaba, for instance".

12. In Olinda, there was also a bloco called "Bumba Meu Bowie".

Instagram: @claudia_aires

With a giant figure of the artist coming down the steep streets of one of the oldest, colonial cities in Brasil.


13. You will be the best dressed at the "bloco" if you make yourself a smart costume like this one:

Instagram: @domcoimbra

Using your own features in the perfect disguise as a half avocado.


17. Here is the distinguished Sir Ian McKellen.

Instagram: @cavonbar7