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2015 Carnival: Galo da Madrugada and Bola Preta Compete for Number One Title

02/12/2015 - 09h06

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PATRÍCIA BRITTO
FROM SÃO PAULO

When the first day of Carnival comes, that is, the coming Saturday, February 15th, Rio's cariocas and Pernambuco's pernambucanos will come head to head in a competition that, even for the winners, will end in a party.

Both cities are home to traditional carnival parties across Brazil, they both compete for the title of the biggest carnival group in the world: Recife's Galo da Madrugada (The Midnight Rooster) and Rio's Cordão da Bola Preta (The Black Ball Group).

The creator of the mascot that became the symbol of the carnival scene in Pernambuco, the Rooster entered the Guiness Book in 1994 after it gathered 1.5 million people in its festivities.

Moacyr Lopes Junior - 9.fev.13/Folhapress
Recife's Galo da Madrugada (The Midnight Rooster)
Recife's Galo da Madrugada (The Midnight Rooster)

In 2012 it lost its title to Bola Preta, one of the oldest street carnival groups in Rio, when it gathered 2.2 million people,100 thousand more than the Rooster managed that same year.

While the Rooster incites carnival goers to dance in Recife's Old Town to the rhythm of frevo, Bola Preta takes to the streets of Rio to the sound of old samba songs.

The Rooster sets off with a number of music trucks that feature national as well as local musicians.

Bola Preta, on the other hand, is composed of 30 wind and percussion musicians, who play next to the group's "godmother", Brazilian singer Maria Rita and "godfather", Neguinho da Beija-Flor.

ERBS JR./Frame/Folhapress
Rio's Cordão da Bola Preta (The Black Ball Group)
Rio's Cordão da Bola Preta (The Black Ball Group)

This year, the Rooster's 38th carnival honors frevo composer Carlos Fernando. The state's deceased governor, Eduardo Campos will also be remembered.

Bola Preta celebrates its 97th carnival with three electric trucks. It will have amongst its muses, Beija-Flor samba school's Selminha Sorriso.

Both groups will kick off at 9am on Saturday, February 14th. Bola Preta lasts four hours while the Rooster goes into the early evening.

Translated by CRISTIANE COSTA LIMA

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