Sao Paulo street bands a prelude to Carnival

World Today

Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, is getting into the Carnival spirit. Street bands called “blocos” offer an alternative to the Samba School parades that Rio de Janeiro is famous for.

CGTN’s Paulo Cabral reports.

Sao Paulo street bands a prelude to Carnival

Sao Paulo street bands a prelude to Carnival

Sao Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, is getting into the Carnival spirit. Street bands called “blocos” offer an alternative to the Samba School parades that Rio de Janeiro is famous for. CGTN’s Paulo Cabral reports.

Brazil’s Carnival is officially still a few days away, but the beat is already on in Sao Paulo.

Street bands known as “blocos” are on parade, and they attract thousands of people.

Unlike the Samba School parades in Sambadromes — with their rules, judges, winners and losers — the “blocos” are just for fun.

“There are not as many indoor Carnival parties these days,” says one woman, “so people are all taking to the streets to party.”

This year 381 street bands officially registered for Sao Paulo’s Carnival, almost 30 more than last year.

Bloco Bando 7 is a veteran band, having performed in 33 Carnivals. Its president, Carlos Moraes, says many people in Sao Paulo won’t travel to traditional Carnival destinations such as Rio or Bahia this year because of the country’s economic crisis.

“The blocos are for everybody, with or without money, Moraes says. “It’s a truly democratic carnival.”