Carnaval in Salvador

March was the month of Carnaval, for which Brazil is famous. But there are some differences in the way it’s celebrated from region to region.

Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro is known for its parade of samba schools with thousands of professional musicians and dancers. The artistry of the costumes is simply amazing:

Each samba school has a different “theme” every year, around which they design their floats, costumes, and dances. For example, one group honored the city of Rio by portraying its history over the centuries as well as its natural beauties (complete with dancers dressed as tropical birds and animals, as the ocean, as the forest).

Carnaval in Salvador is very different. The main music styles are pagode and axe rather than samba, and the bands parade in giant trucks called trios eletricos down the the main streets with the city’s people (and visitors) following them. I had a front-row seat to the action from the varanda of the hotel where Christian works!

This is the scene in the street during the late afternoon – when things are barely getting started.

This is the trio eletrico of one of the most popular bands: Chiclete com Banana. A ticket to enter the VIP area for this band can cost over $1000.

Here’s a video of Chiclete com Banana beginning their show. The crowd is sometimes referred to as “pipoca” (popcorn) – I think you can see why!

I only stuck around until 9 PM or so, but the party continues all night. Here’s a night picture:

And a video of the dancers on the trio.

Hope you’ve enjoyed this brief “virtual” experience of Carnaval in Salvador!