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Carnival Blocks

The first block founded was Flores Brancas, in 1921, which after two years of life changed its name to Bloco das Flores.

Carnival Blocks

Article available in: PT-BR ESP

Last update: 28/07/2022

By: Claudia M. de Assis Rocha Lima - Researcher at the Joaquim Nabuco Foundation - PhD in Sciences of Religion

HISTORY – Among the manifestations that compose the great folkloric mosaic of Recife’s carnival, none surpasses the lyricism of the Blocos. Unlike Carnival Clubs, which had their origins in professional corporations, the Carnival Block emerged from family gatherings in the neighborhoods of São José, Santo Antônio, and Boa Vista, among others, as an extension of the nativity scene and revelry of kings, back in the 1920s, in the city of Recife. The first block founded was Flores Brancas, in 1921, which after two years of life changed their name to Bloco das Flores, their headquarters were in Praça Sérgio Loreto, in the house of their founder Salgado Filho, and Raul Moraes as director of their orchestra. The Block came to provide conditions for females to participate in Recife’s street carnival, far from mixing with the crowd used to accompanying frevo clubs. It was usually formed by girls and ladies of the so-called middle class, who, not allowed to participate in the hall carnival of the Clube Recreativo Internacional and the Jockey Club, then a privilege of the elites, took to the streets protected by a rope, under strict surveillance of parents, husbands, children, sons-in-law, fiancé, friends and family.


TRAINING – Already accustomed to the days of the pastoris, creches and queima de lapinhas processions, the female sex also formed the choir of the Carnival Block, while the men were in charge of the orchestra, very typical of the soirees and serenades of that time, formed by guitars, violins, cavaquinho, banjos, mandolins, flutes, clarinets, double bass, harmonicas, tambourines and percussion. A whistle followed by a unisonous chord from the entire orchestra announced the beginning of the block's march, with its instrumental introduction, with a frevo-like tempo, which was followed by the part sung by the choir of voices, in a tempo very similar to our pastoril.


MOVEMENT – The Group is opened by a poster (flabelo), whose allegory brings the name and symbol of the block, followed by the board, the ladies-in-front, the highlight costumes, the string of men and women who edge their way through the crowd, the voice choir and the orchestra. Usually the Block brings a plot in its set of costumes, but unlike the Samba Schools, the compositions sung by the group have nothing to do with the story, which is told through the costumes. In the recovery of the lyricism of the old blocks, Bloco da Saudade, Bloco das Ilustres and Bloco Aurora de Amor are included.

Flor da Lira – founded in 1920
Flor da Magnólia  – founded in 1924
Madeiras do Rosarinho – founded in 1926
Apôis Fun  – founded in 1929
Banhistas do Pina – founded in 1932
Batutas de São José – founded in 1932


These are some Carnival Blocks that made up or still make up the Pernambuco Carnival.

Recife, July 22, 2003.


how to quote this text

LIMA, Claudia M. de Assis Rocha. Carnival Blocos. In: PESQUISA Escolar. Recife: Fundação Joaquim Nabuco, 2003. Available from:  Access on: Month. day, year. (Ex.: Feb. 10, 2021.)