Updated 04:13 PM EST, Sat, Feb 27, 2021

How to Make the Most Out of Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival Weekend in February

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Rio de Janeiro's Carnival weekend that takes place on Feb. 5 to 8 is one of the grandest holidays in Brazil. For those who wish to witness the event firsthand, here are a few tips from the Telegraph on how to make the occasion worth your while

Prepare for 'Blocos'

Blocos, also called bandas, are the free street bands throughout Rio de Janeiro. They either parade throughout the streets with a pre-determined course, or remain at a fixed area. Blocos are based on traditional samba, but the most recent ones feature contemporary music.

The street carnival's tentative opening was on January 3, while the last bloco is set on February 14. Most parties occur during weekends.

Picking Your Blocos Attire

Carnival fashion showcase men dressed in drag, women donning animal costumes, and dogs adorned with flowers. Fancy dress is not required, but majority of the attendees arrive with at least a flower garland or headband on. Beer is also free-flowing.

It is recommended that people wear closed shoes, as the streets get dirty quickly with so many attendees drinking and dancing. Comfortable clothes are also encouraged as summer temperatures can spike up to 30-35C. People can purchase costumes, accessories, and t-shirts from sellers during parades.

Choosing which Bloco to Attend

It is easy to locate parties during the event, given that blocos are organized by neighborhood. Attendees, however, may be confused about which bloco to participate in with plenty of them happening every day.

Among the largest are as follows: Cordão da Bola Preta in downtown (January 31), Monobloco in Centro (February 14), Sargento Pimenta in Aterro do Flamengo (February 8), and Afroreggae in Centro (February 8), the Telegraph listed. Some of the more traditional blocos are the Carmelitas in Santa Teresa (February 5) and Bloco do Barbas in Botafogo (February 6). There are smaller blocos if you want to stay away from the huge crowd, and a children's blocos during the day.

The main parade takes place at the Sambodromo, Rio Carnival. Those wanting to purchase tickets can do so on rio-carnival.net, with prices ranging from £31 ($44) to £681 ($970) depending on the grandstand and the type of ticket.

Take Necessary Precautions

Pickpocketing is a common occurrence during carnival weekend, so take care of your money, cameras, and mobile phones. Also remember to stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and make use of bathrooms when it's available (note that there's a fine of R$510 or £87 for relieving yourself on the street). In addition, some blocos feature water cannons so make sure that your liquid sensitive valuables stay dry.

For more information about the 2016 Rio Carnival, check out this site.

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