Blocos or Street Parties in 2019 Rio Carnival

The Street Parties Of Rio de Janeiro Carnival Are The Blocos Where Fun Is Guaranteed.

Blocos and Bandas are teams of people who organize parties accompanied with music and dance and when this music includes bass instruments they are known as Bandas. Their history can be traced back to the late 1800’s when Cordoes were created. These clubs of people organized parades with local music, choreographed dances and instruments and later restricted themselves to their respective neighborhoods. The Blocos and Bandas developed from Cordoes and although they do not have parades of their own, music is still an integral part of these parties. The Blocos and Bandas of Rio organize casual parties in popular hangouts all through the Carnival and sometimes even throughout the year depending on their popularity.

Popular Modern Blocos and Bandas

Blocos of today are restricted to their respective neighborhoods. Each group has a theme song with a band to play the song for them. A team of partygoers is also part of each Bloco and most of them write their own songs. Adding popular classical songs to their own song collection is a common practice to generate interest in their group. The more popular Blocos and Bandas in Rio include Polka Dot Bloco, Monobloco and Armpit of the Christ. Although block parties are organized in every neighborhood the more popular ones can be found in Leblon, Copacabana, Ipanema, Lagoa, Jardim Botanico and downtown.

The Music of Blocos and Bandas

Before Samba was added to the music of Blocos, Marchinhas, a polka like music was played by the bands. The increase in popularity of Samba has almost completely replaced Marchinhas but there are Blocos and Bandas that still play it. During the Carnival time the Blocos hire a truck and their singers and instrument players travel around on it displaying their music. Bloco parties start as early as January and go on till the Sunday after the Carnival.

The Largest Blocos of Rio

Cordao do Bola Preta is the biggest Bloco and more than two hundred thousand people attend their parties during the Carnival.  Simpatia e Quase Amor hosts the second biggest party with almost hundred thousand people attending each year. Other large Blocos and Bandas include the one that is hosted on the Avenida Rio Branco. It draws about 800,000 people and is organized by Monobloco. Large parties are mostly located on Avenida Rio Branco, the biggest street in all of Rio. The Blocos and Bandas are best enjoyed when you join in with their music and dancing but you can also view from the sidelines.

Suvaco do Cristo and Banda de Ipanema

Formed in 1985, the Suvaco do Cristo Bloco holds its parade on the Sunday prior to the Carnival in the district of Jardim Botanico. A percussion area, Bahia clothed women and a flag bearer are common in their Blocos and Bandas in signature blue, green and silver colors. Banda de Ipanema is famous with gays and holds 3 three different parties. They are all held on Saturdays with two being held before the Carnival and the third on the Saturday during the Carnival. Their Blocos and Bandas are very popular and draw upto 30,000 people every year.


Started in 2003 on Leblon Beach, this group consists of about 120 musicians in the 200 strong band. They have the privilege of closing the Samba parade at the end of the Carnival. The Blocos that they organize were attended by almost 800,000 people in the year 2019. The music they play extends over a wide range and includes Samba, Xote, Congo, Quadrilha music and the famous Brazil square dance. Their Blocos and Bandas are extremely accepted with younger folk and watching them rehearse in Lapa is a favorite local pastime.

Other Blocos and Bandas

Although there are a number of Blocos and Bandas that are organized during the Carnival, some of them are more popular and unique in the way their parades are held. One such group is the Carmelitas Blocos who tell the story of a nun through the parade. In the story the nun escapes from her convent to attend the parade and hence the members of this band are all dressed as nuns. The Blocos and Bandas held by the oldest group, Cordao do Bola Preta founded in 1918 include 2 parties and a white and black ball. The Simpatia e Quase Amor group formed in 1985 start their parade in Zona Sul and takes its name from a popular character in a Brazilian book. Their Blocos and Bandas are held on the Saturday before the Carnival and the Sunday in the middle of the Carnival.

Find the Best Blocos and Bandas for Carnival 2019

The Carnival is the best time to visit Brazil and the city if Rio which hosts the best Carnival of all. Music, dancing and food are integral to this celebration, allowing the coming together of people from all countries and regions. The Blocos and Bandas that are held during the Carnival are not to be missed. More than 250 groups that are registered with the Government will hold almost 500 parties during Carnival 2019 so make sure you attend atleast one to complete your Carnival experience.

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