By Lise Alves, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – The calendar says the 2019 carnival is officially over, but in Rio de Janeiro, and throughout Brazil, that does not mean that the party is over. According to Rio officials more than fifty ‘blocos’ are still scheduled to parade through the streets from Ash Wednesday (March 6th) until Sunday (March 10th).
“We keep saying ‘goodbye’ to Carnival all week long,” jokes Camila Rocha, who has been to dozens of blocos in Rio since Saturday, February 23rd.
Among the blocos scheduled to parade on Ash Wednesday are Me Enterra na Quarta (Bury me on Wednesday) and Ainda Aguento (I Can Still Take It).
Saturday and Sunday megablocos like Poderosas, estimated to attract over 300,000 party-goers and Monobloco, estimated to attract more than a-half-a-million people, will be holding their ‘farewell’ parades to this season’s Carnival in the center of Rio.
But not only in Rio is Carnival still going strong. In Olinda, the traditional Bacalhau do Batata (Batata’s codfish) bloco woke up those trying to sleep in on this Ash Wednesday with the typical sound of frevo music.
Fifty-seven years ago the bloco was created, when waiter Izaías Pereira da Silva, nicknamed Batata, unhappy with having to work during carnival and not being able to attend the festivities, created a bloco and gather people in the same situation.
The idea was to let those who worked during the five days of Carnival have some fun of their own on Wednesday morning. The bloco today is one of the largest blocos in Olinda, dragging hundreds of thousands of people through the streets.