The Ultimate Guide to The Fortaleza Carnival 2021
The Fortaleza Carnival is considered one of the best carnival celebrations to take place in the northeast of Brazil.
When is the Fortaleza carnival 2021?
What is the date for Fortaleza Carnival? In 2021, the date for Fortaleza carnival will be held between 13th – 16th February. However, there will be some pre-carnival events that start taking place from the 6th February to kickstart carnival.
NOTE: This carnival can be cancelled or postponed at any time due to concerns over the spread of COVID-19. The organizes are monitoring the situation and will listen to advice from governments and public health organisations to ensure everyone’s safety.
Where is the Fortaleza carnival?
The epicenter of the Fortaleza Carnival is the municipality that bears the same name and is located in the state of Ceará, northeast of Brazil and bordered by spectacular red cliffs.
The temperature during the month of February varies between 25 and 31ºC, so experts recommend being careful with skin care, using sunscreen and wearing comfortable clothing, which allows you to get through the day without major setback.
What is the Fortaleza carnival?
The Fortaleza Carnival also known as the Ceará Carnival promotes the culture and art of each of the participating regions. It is a colorful carnival celebration where the streets and avenues become alive with carnival spirit.
During carnival there are lots of blocos (street parties) where they parade the streets singing, dancing and partying the day away. During carnivals there are acrobatic shows that have become increasingly famous in recent years, even attracting visitors by international tourists.
Carnival features plenty of musical performances by various Brazilian artists and parades in each of the streets of Fortaleza. The Ceará Carnival does not have a fixed point where the events take place, but is generally held in Praia de Iracema, Avenida Domingos Olímpio and Praça do Ferreira.
The pre-carnival parties take place every weekend prior to carnival and take place in Praçado Ferreira. These warm-up parties are filled with the flavor and rhythm of the Brazilian melodies that are danced all over the world and are superfluous during carnival.
In Praia de Iracema you can see dancers enjoying the Maracatú, which is the oldest Afro-Brazilian musical rhythm in this country. It mixes Indian and European cultural elements that make it a very pleasant and catchy melody.
The different carnival associations of Fortaleza join together to perform in an official parade on Avenida Domingos Olímpio. However, in the neighborhood streets and city squares you are able to enjoy artists performing from different localities.
How do you celebrate carnival in Fortaleza – Brazil?
The blocos are big colorful celebrations that take place in streets and squares before the official carnival dates. They get the city excited and ready for carnival and put on great musical presentations and live parades.
The parade is the most striking part of this carnival, as it demonstrates the creativity and inspiration of the artists in charge of this area. Amazing colors and lots of joyous spectators fill the streets dressed in fantasy costumes.
The parades feature amazing floats which are decorated and adorned with lights, backdrops, flowers, feathers, amongst other elements that make the annual commemoration have more joy.
Origins of the Fortaleza carnival
What is the history of Fortaleza Carnival? The history of Fortazela Carnival begins with the unification of different European and African ethnic groups that came to Brazil by the Portuguese. The celebration was the result of marked cultural exchanges that occurred at the time.
In Fortaleza, since 1940 there schools that encouraged the cultural training of this celebration. One of the main manifestations for this date was the negrume, which consisted of painting the faces of those who participated in the party in black, as this was a way of commemorating African culture and recognizing the racial inequality that they lived through for many years.
Nowadays, the negrume can generate controversy, since it is considered as a mockery towards Africans, and the tradition has stopped.
Until the 1970s, Fortaleza carnival was seen as a prestigious event, where only people from the elite could participate. But in 1980 things changed and it began to be seen as a commemoration where anyone who wanted could participate.
Fortaleza 2021 carnival schedule
Although the carnival of Fortaleza takes place for three days, carnival celebrations take place weeks before the official dates. Residents of the city are given the task of starting to celebrate in the squares and streets every weekend.
The Fortaleza Carnival begins with a parade that takes place on Avenida Domingos Olímpio at 6:40 p.m. This parade features the most extravagant and decorated floats, which surprise everyone. This parade takes place through Universidade and Aguanambi avenues.
Dancers, bands and musicians start the parade with a flourish. There are loads of shows to come in the following days of the festivities. During carnival the streets do not sleep and the rhythm of the Maracatú or the Brazilian samba is heard throughout all the streets.
Praia Iracema serves as a space to live and feel the influence of the African rhythm in each of the songs.
How to get to Fortaleza – Brazil?
You can get to Fortaleza by plane, train, bus or car, depending on your geographical location.
Fortaleza has the Pinto Martins International Airport, which connects with any country in the world without any problem, allowing tourists to make a trip without so many stops.
If you like train travel, you can order a taxi from the airport to Benfica, where you will take a bus to São Benedito and from there you only have to walk about 10 minutes and you will find yourself in the center of one of the largest and most important carnival celebrations in Brazil.
From Pinto Martins International Airport you can also take a bus that will drop you off directly at Avenida Domingos Olímpio, where the city’s carnival begins.
Where to stay in Fortaleza – Brazil?
While you enjoy the carnivals in Fortaleza you can stay at:
- Hotel Nordeste Palace: it has spacious and clean rooms, in addition, you will be attended by a highly qualified staff willing to help you with whatever you may need. This hotel is located just 9 minutes by car from Avenida Domingos Olímpico and very close to shopping centers and supermarkets.
- Hotel Amuarama: this 3-star hotel is located just 6 km from the nearest beach and 7 km from the international airport, which makes it one of the most accessible places in the city, designed for those who are passing through Fortaleza.
- Hotel Gran Marquise: located in front of Mucuripe beach and just 9 minutes walk from the Japanese Garden, the Gran Marquise offers you the possibility to rest pleasantly after having toured the city or participated in the celebration of the carnivals in the area. Its contemporary-style rooms are equipped with flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, free Wi-Fi and coffeemakers, as well as access to free room services and breakfasts.
- Seara Praia Hotel: from the Beira Mar de Fortaleza, where the Seara Praia is located, there is easy access to the beaches of the town and the coast, which makes your stay very pleasant, because you do not have to worry about how to get around. On the roof of its facilities you can enjoy the sauna or jacuzzi, depending on your choice or need, in addition, they have a gym for those who wish to continue with their exercise routine despite traveling.
- Ponta Mar Hotel: from Ponta Mar Hotel you can enjoy one of the best views that the capital of Ceará has, which will make you want to stay for much longer than established.
You will be able to choose from a standard room to a totally luxurious one, equipped according to your needs. Do not hesitate!
What to do and see at the Fortaleza carnival?
Even if you visit Fortaleza for the carnivals that take place there, you can also enjoy its tourist and commercial spaces such as:
- Praia do Futuro: it is one of the beaches that you cannot miss if you visit Fortaleza, as it has everything to spend a great day in company or alone, depending on your preference.
- Praia de Iracema: this beach is one of the most frequented by tourists and local residents, because the peace and calm that you feel there is unmatched. Do not miss it!
- Jardim Japonês: the Japanese Garden of Fortaleza has a unique design and a great variety of aquatic elements that make you live a completely unique and special experience. As if that were not enough, the entrance is totally free. Get to know it!
- Beach Park: if you are an adventure lover you must visit the Beach Park, this water park is located on the beach of Porto das Dunas and has slides of different distances that are adapted according to the preference of each person. It is a space that can be visited with family or with friends who want to live a day totally full of adrenaline and emotion.
- Feirinha Beira Mar: the fair has more than 26 years offering crafts, accessories, local paintings, clothing, among other objects, at a much more affordable price than in shopping centers or stores. You can also enjoy the gastronomy of Fortaleza or other regions of the country.
The artists of the area take advantage of this fair to exhibit everything they are capable of making with totally local products and often handmade. Amazing!
Those who have had the opportunity to visit the fair ensure that they find quality products such as hammocks, handbags, paintings, wallets, among others.
What to eat
Among the typical foods of Fortaleza is the peixada cearense, a fish stew accompanied with coconut milk and onion, especially for palates that prefer the mixture of flavors and baião de dois, which is a dish created with rice and beans and coalho cheese.
Roasted cashew nuts or infused with herbs is a typical product of Ceará and that you cannot miss when you get to know its gastronomy, which is very special.
Among the places where you can enjoy the most typical dishes of Ceará are: Coco Bambu Beira Mar, Cabaña Del Primo, Cantinho do Frango and João do Bacalhau. Visit them!
Book your Hotel and Flight for the Fortaleza Carnival
It’s a safe city?
The risk of being mugged in Fortaleza is high, so it is recommended not to carry valuables that are visible and avoid having large sums of cash. Avoid walking the streets alone, especially at midnight, as drug dealers and prostitutes are more frequently seen who can become insistent in offering their services.
If you use the bus to get around you must be careful with your belongings, as thefts have been reported inside them.
Take only official licensed taxis, do not get into any vehicle that is not identified with the service, they can extort money from you.
Pickpockets are found in the city center and on the beaches, always waiting for a tourist, who are usually easy to dupe due to ignorance of thefts.
Like any city, there are areas where the theft rate is much higher, so it is recommended to visit areas that are busy and always try to go in the company of someone else.
We hope we have clarified your doubts and that you are ready to enjoy one of the most joyous festivities in Brazil, the Fortaleza carnival. Enjoy it!