Starting Friday (Feb 9), over a dozen blocos—as Carnival street parties are known throughout Brazil—are expected to bring humor, irony, and social criticism to the streets of Rio de Janeiro up to the last day before Ash Wednesday, February 13.
Parties will start this Friday with the Bloco Carmelitas and its six thousand revelers, who will take over the small downtown district of Santa Teresa. The bloco pays tribute to a Convent of the Carmelitas, believed to have founded the district. Revelers as well as admirers of the neighborhood have created a legend according to which a nun jumps over the convent wall to party and enjoy Carnival on Friday and sneaks back into the nunnery on Tuesday.
The story gave rise to a tradition: men and women partying at the bloco put on a nun's habit—or at least the veil—in order to help the runaway nun by preventing her from being easily spotted.
After drawing over 250 thousand people last Saturday (2) with samba songs filled with criticism targeting Mayor Marcelo Crivella and his administration, the Simpatia É Quase Amor bloco is parading for the second time on Sunday afternoon.
Translated by Fabrício Ferreira