Category Archives: Festivals

Beginner’s Guide to Carnaval in Salvador

To say my first Salvador carnival experience was overwhelming and bewildering would be an understatement. First, there were new and unfamiliar terms — bloco, camarote, pipoca, circuit, fantasia, adabá — that I had to understand to navigate the behemoth event. Second, in the two months since I had last been to Salvador, the logistics of […]

Fantasia of Cortejo Afro, Carnival 2018

Carnaval Fantasia and Abadás

When I heard I needed a costume for carnaval, I instantly thought of the glittered masks of New Orleans Mardi Gras. My friend and I went on a shopping adventure, walked out with masks and feather boas, and showed up on the carnaval circuit all ready to go. Excerpt we totally weren’t. We completely mis-understood […]

The Afro Blocos of Salvador’s Carnaval

Are you as addicted as I am to those strong, rhythmic percussive beats of afro-brazilian music? The ones that make your hips and shoulders start swaying back and forth before you even realize it’s happening. Yes, those beats! Then carnaval in Salvador is definitely a place you want to be. With the largest black population […]

3 Magical Ways to Experience Carnaval in Salvador

When you think about attending carnaval in Salvador, what do you picture yourself doing? Are you in a bloco walking right alongside your favorite band or artist, wearing a commemorative shirt that tells the world, “yes, I am with them?” Or, are you in a camarote (viewing stand)? Maybe even one that has a spa […]

Salvador Carnaval Circuits

When you think about carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, you probably think about the Sambadrome. And when you think about carnaval in Salvador, you probably envision a trio elétrico passing along a beach surrounded by throngs of people. Am I right? Those dreamy beach images are from the Barra-Ondina circuit, one of dozens of official […]

18 Tips To Survive Salvador Carnaval

Salvador carnaval is a marathon, not a sprint. While the official carnaval days are Thursday through Tuesday, it extends several days in either direction with additional official activities. And, if I was to be honest, the carnaval season actually starts on December 4th with the festival of Santa Barbara / Iensã. Yeah, they like a […]

A Newbie’s A-Z Guide to Carnaval in Salvador

Wondering what a trio elétrico is or why popcorn (pipoca) is an indispensable part of Salvador carnaval? Then read on below for a list of the most commonly used terms so you can navigate Salvador’s carnaval with confidence. Abadá — Originally a term used for capoeira uniforms, this term refers to the shirt that carnaval […]