In memory of Enéas Alves Freire (1921-2008).
Updated on Jan.22, 2014
The World's Largest Carnival Bloco
Galo da Madrugada, or the Rooster of Dawn, is considered the world's largest street Carnival parade. Nearly two million people parade with this Recife bloco, which leaves every Carnival Saturday morning from Forte das Cinco Pontas, a historic Recife landmark.
Trios elétricos, or bands playing atop sound-wired trucks, keep the crowd dancing to frevo. A towering rooster statue slowly makes its way amidst the throngs on the streets of Old Recife.
Participation is free and costumes are not mandatory. In a Carnival 2008 interview to Agência Brasil, Enéas Freire, Galo da Madrugada founder, gave this piece of advice about safety in the bloco: "I recommend to revelers that they come in peace and leave home their more valuable belongings."
Galo da Madrugada History
Galo da Madrugada founder Enéas Freire loved Recife's street Carnival and as a child he never missed troças and other traditional celebrations. In 1978, he started Galo da Madrugada on a whim, in the company of some friends. People tagged along and the bloco was formed.
Enéas, who died in 2008 at the age of 87, was a Recife legend. The bloco paraded in front of the Clube de Máscaras Galo da Madrugada to honor him, as he waved and greeted the crowd from his office.
In late 2008, the Galo da Madrugada headquarters - Freire's last project - opened in Recife. Called Palácio Enéas Freire, it's a cultural center where people can also buy Galo da Madrugada products. On the first floor, the Varanda do Galo restaurant (open Mon-Fri 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.) serves home style Northeastern culinary, including bolo de rolo - Recife's famous, extra-fine-layered roll-up cake.
In 2009, Galo da Madrugada was named Intangible Cultural Heritage of Pernambuco.
Galo da Madrugada Photos
Browse a Galo da Madrugada photo gallery.
Galo da Madrugada Parade 2014
When: Saturday, March 1, 2014 (starting time and spot to be confirmed)
In 2014, Galo da Madrugada will celebrate writer, poet and playwright Ariano Suassuna. Born in João Pessoa, the capital of Paraíba, Suassuna grew up in the sertão, or backlands, of his home state and moved with his family to Recife when he was 18.
His artistic credo took shape as the Armorial Movement, of which he was a co-founder. The initiative tapped into Brazil's most authentic roots and Northeastern symbols to create works of universal appeal. Among Suassuna's greatest works are Auto da Compadecida ("Play of Our Lady of Mercy"), 1955 and Romance d’a Pedra do reino e o príncipe do sangue do vai-e-volta ("Romance of the Stone of the Kingdom and the Prince of Coming-and-Going Blood"), 1971.
Themes from Suassuna's literature will be used in the floats designed by Ary Nóbrega and are also present in the famous Galo da Madrugada T-shirts (read more below).
The 2014 CDGalo da Madrugada's president Rômulo Menezes has launched the bloco's new CD, "Frevo no Auto do Reino de Ariano", with 21 tracks involving more than 20 artists and design by Rafael Guimarães. Some of the artists are Adriana B, Dudu do Acordeon, Ed Carlos, Nono Germano, Josildo Sá, Quinteto Violado and Rogério Rangel.
The CD can be purchased at the Galo headquarters.
The 2014 T-Shirt
One of the best-loved pieces of Carnival attire in Brazil, the Galo da Madrugada T-shirt echoes the year's theme in bright patterns and makes a great souvenir. This year, the design by Ricardo Rique, of Casa Comunicação, features a heraldry-inspired pattern as a reference to the Armorial Movement, as well as other elements from Suassuna's works.
The T-shirt costs R$ 23 and can be purchased at the Galo headquarters or at Extra supermarkets.
Recife travelers still have several rehearsals to enjoy before Galo's Carnival Saturday parade. The rehearsals take place every Saturday evening at 6 p.m. Individual tickets cost R$30, tables for 4 cost R$140 and the guest artists are listed on the agenda: www.galodamadrugada.org.br/2013/index.php/agenda
Quinta no Galo 2014 - Thursday at Galo
Quinta no Galo is a weekly musical and cultural get-together at the Galo headquarters featuring the best of Pernambuco Carnival traditions.
Among the rhythms and dances you'll enjoy at Quinta no Galo are caboclinho, a dance with indigenous origins; maracatu, frevo and newer styles such as Recife-born mangue beat.
The party is on every Thursday from 7 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Individual tickets cost $30 and tables seating 4 cost R$ 140.
Galo da Madrugada Address & Contact InformationRua da Concórdia 984
Phones: 55-81-3224-2899/ 3224-9615