Bahian Carnival

Bahian Carnival
There are several distinct styles of the Carnival of Brazil depending on the region. For example, parades in the Southeast Region are led by samba schools. Carnival celebrations in the Northeast Region are more democratic and informal. And Bahian Carnival celebrated mainly in the city of Salvador is famous for its trio elétrico parades.

The state of Bahia is regarded as the historical and cultural heart of Brazil. It is known for the high concentration of multiracial population generally referred to as pardo, so no wonder the Carnival of Bahia is very eclectic. Bahian Carnival dates back to the 19th century but the most characteristic feature of the Carnival, trios elétricos, emerged in the mid-20th century.

In 1950, Adolfo Dodô Nascimento and Osmar Álvares Macêdo used an old Ford Model T to create an open float adapted for musical performances. They drove through the streets during Bahian Carnival playing music. Dodô and Osmar referred to themselves as “electric duo” (dupla eléctrica). Next year, they were joined by a friend. That’s how the term “trio elétrico” was coined. Today all carnival floats equipped with a sound system and musicians on the roof are known as trios elétricos.

Alongside trios elétricos, Bahian Carnival has three more types of carnival groups: Afoxês, Blocos Afros, and Amerindians. Afoxês base their performances on the rituals and traditions of the Afro-Brazilian polytheistic religion called Candomblé. Blocos Afros are inspired by their African heritage, they were influenced by the Black Pride Movement and reggae music. Amerindians were inspired by Western movies, they dress up as Native Americans.

Carnival-related events start to happen in Salvador since New Year’s Eve. They include the nomination party of King Momo and the Carnival Queen. Bahian Carnival officially opens on the Thursday before Ash Wednesday. Carnival parades, parties and other events are held every day, lasting for approximately 16 hours. After the official parade is over, trios elétricos keep on performing in front of the audience. The final event of the parade, arrastão, starts on Wednesday morning. It features the trio elétrico trucks moving in the backwards direction along the official parade route.

Bahian Carnival





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