Salvador Carnival Program
Check the Salvador Carnival Program and plan your stay.
The Carnival in Salvador is the biggest street Carnival in the world with over 2 million people participating in the six day festival leading up to Ash Wednesday. The best thing is that the Carnival is open to everyone without having to pay a premium. From dancing atop the Trios Electricos or motorized floats to the camarotes and pipocas, there are plenty of opportunities to experience the spirit of the Carnival.
The Carnival’s Global Spirit
Apart from about a million visitors from the different municipalities of Bahia, Salvador’s Carnival magic attracts national as well as international tourists who mingle with the locals on streets, squares, and avenues. While the Carnival does have a commercial aspect, everyone has the opportunity to join in for free. The locals are warm, friendly, and ever willing to spread the message of peace, love, and freedom; the Bahian way of life.
Dancing to African Beats
While costumes are the order of the day, music and rhythm are what lead the Carnival, where samba, reggae, and axé rule. Among the famous blocos are the Olodum, Malé Debalé, Timbalada, Psirico, Parangole, and Araketu, known for their drumming ensembles. Undoubtedly, the Carnival in Salvador is a paradise for music lovers. Combined with non-stop partying, entertainment can never get any better. Many of the artists who join the Trio-Electricos are renowned musicians known to play on the international stage.
The official start to the Carnival in Salvador takes place at Campo Grande Square where the mayor hands out the key of the city to King Momo, a traditional event dating back to 1959. Compared to other Carnival nights, Thursday is much quieter albeit for a very short period where things heat up on Carnival Friday reaching a crescendo over the next three days.
Join the Wildest Party
For those who wish to join a bloco, it is mandatory to purchase an abadá or T-shirt so that they are easily identifiable. Of course, this gives you the opportunity to sing and dance on the floats with the Trios-Electricos. Each route lasts for six hours, requiring a lot of stamina which of course comes from the energizing beats of the drummers. The cost of an abadá varies in price for three days. However, this is a small price to pay for the privilege of being in the heart of all the excitement.
Other ways to enjoy the Carnival in Salvador are to either dance with the crowds on the streets as what is known as a Pipoca for no charge, or reserve a Camarote that runs along the sides of the streets, which is inclusive of food, drinks, and a DJ in attendance.
There are two main parade routes known as the Campo Grande - Praça Castro Alves Circuit, and the Barra - Ondina Circuit. Every twenty minutes a new bloco joins one of the routes, joining in the celebrations. Another route known as the Batatinha Circuit runs through Pelourinho, the Old City. Don’t expect any wild revelry along this route as it consists of followers of Candomble, an Afro-Brazilian religion who parade in white and blue.