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Carnival in Brazil: Recife Posted by on Feb 23, 2009 in Culture, Customs

Carnival began this past weekend across Brazil and though it officially lasts until Tuesday, some festivities continue throughout the week. So this week, we’ll take a look at the different Carnival celebrations throughout the country.

Today, we’re going to look at Recife’s Carnival.

The celebrations in Pernambuco’s capital and its immediate neighbor, Olinda, are known for being one of the finest traditional Carnivals in Brazil and one of the few that is completely free to the public. It also has the largest Carnival street band in the world, the Galo da Madrugada, that attracts 1.5 million revelers. This type of band is known as a bloco, a group of percussionists and singers that lead revelers through the streets.

Unlike Rio’s large samba schools, the city has small groups of friends and family that perform together. Along with samba, Recife’s celebration features other types of music like maracatu and frevo, music that developed in the Northeast. It is also famous for using bonecos gigantes, giant dolls, which are carried throughout the streets during the celebration.

This year, Recife and Olinda continued the Carnival tradition. The Galo da Madrugada attracted over a million partiers in costume, with several people dressed up as Barack Obama, Fidel Castro, and Brazilian president Lula. Obama also appeared as a giant doll, along with dolls made in the likeness of famous Brazilian singers, writers, TV personalities and athletes, like Pelé. Dilma Roussef, a high-level government official, attended the festivities.

News Links:

Galo da Madrugada (video, photos, text)

Bonecos gigantes (photos and text)

Dilma in Olinda (photos and text)

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