Frevo music, hilarious costumes and native Brazilian style

RECIFE, BRAZIL: When it comes to the Brazil Carnival, Rio de Janeiro is up for some stiff competition from the city of Recife. This city north east in Brazil is internationally famous for Carnival celebrations and the World’s largest street party. So, if you want to experience real carnival spirit, be there in February. Remember, Frevo is the music – in Recife samba is not the big deal.

Carnival in Recife. Energetic crowds dance to the rhythms of drums and horns in an array of the most creative and hilarious costumes which you cannot afford to miss. Recife is an excellent choice if you want to celebrate the Carnival with a native Brazilian feel.

The Carnival in Recife is organized by the people with the objective of everyone joining in to experience the Carnival spirit.

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Music and Passion. The passion for frevo is felt the strongest at the Carnival in Recife, with the unique native Indian and African maracatu beats leaving the revellers craving for more. The high energy sounds of the frevo is at the forefront on early Saturday morning with the Desfile do Galo da Madrugada (Parade of the Rooster of the Early Hour) setting off the largest Carnival in the world alight. You can join the crowd of over 2 million along the four kilometre route around the central area of Recife, partying until the crack of dawn.

Partying till the Crack of Dawn. The Carnival in Recife is one of the biggest events with two million people joining in six straight days and nights of revelry. The Galo da Madrugada or Rooster of the Dawn signifies the commencement of the Carnival in Recife with everyone dancing to the frevo and samba. You will find several people dressed up as celebrities, so don’t be surprised to see Barack Obama or Fidel Castro waving to the crowds. Most significantly, the Carnival is free for all with blocos or groups allowed to play their own variety of music and put up their own show.

When The Drums Fall Silent. Another spectacular event is The Night of the Silent Drums that takes place at Praça Terco in Recife. The centre turns into a mini Africa where the drums beat to the rhythms of the samba, afoxe, maracatus, and reggae, getting more and more intense as midnight approaches. At the stroke of midnight, the drums fall silent in tribute to the town’s ancestors, followed by a prayer offered by the priestess of Umbanda, the Afro-Brazilian religion. This is a great sight to watch as the locals lift up their hands in gratitude to their god.

The place to be. If you want to be in the midst of the largest crowd in Brazil Carnival, then Recife is the place to be. The parade begins from the historic Recife landmark, Forte das Cinco Pontas, with a huge statue of a rooster making its way down the streets of Old Recife. Everyone is welcome to join the crowds dancing to the frevo played by bands or trios elétricos set atop trucks. Although costumes are not mandatory, it is always good to keep up with the tradition. For those who would like to watch from the sidelines, there are mezzanine boxes or camarotes set up along Avenida Guararapes purchasing tickets.

The beaches. The coast of Pernambuco is a very long beach that attracts many tourists for its white sand, clear waters and coral reefs. Amongst all of the beaches, the most beautiful is supposed to be the Boa Viagem beach in Recife. While it has clear waters with its trademark coral reefs, as you can feel them when the tides recede, it has all the facilities of an urban beach to make visitors comfortable.