The Carnival dedicated to dogs in Rio, the lovely Blocao

Blocao Dogs Parade In Rio

When the Portuguese settlers started to create the tradition of the amazing street costume carnival of Rio 300 years before, they had no idea by that time that this gorgeous, colourful and crowds-moving celebration would grow up to an attention-grabbing event worldwide. They also could not have known that our four-legged friends will enjoy the party and march on the streets as well.

Miniature dog pirate costume

Miniature dog pirate costume. The picture just illustration. (Source: / Petful; License: CC BY 2.0; License link:; Link:

It has become regular in the last two decades to place the Blocao festival every year a few days before of the famous Rio Carnival. This event is not about the people on the streets, but about the pets... however the owners are also enjoying the celebration.

This day of the year hundreds of dogs parade down the streets in colourful costumes to prepare perfect mood for the major Carnival later. We can say that this event is the unofficial introductory program of the great Rio Carnival.

When the Blocao starts, an army of the wet nosed pets with colourful and funny fancy dresses infest the Copacabana Beach. Many of the owners dress their dogs like film stars, fairy-tale heroes or superheroes, while other people put colourful, amazing, nature-inspired costumes on to their little friends with exorbitant accessories, what also reminds us to the Rio Carnival.

As like every dress up party there are how many people so many costumes. There is no shortage of cool wigs, glasses and hats that provide a stylish and fun look for their wearers. Also there are some individuals who want to be in the centre of the attention and see some jaws dropped. Some of them dress up their four-legged partners with pink tutus, dashing tuxes fitted with satin capes, butterfly wings and peacock or parrot costumes. It is not out from the ordinary to be a big walking hotdog if you are just a simple dog.

Dog in costume

The picture just illustration. (Source:; License: CC BY 2.0; License link:; Link:

For a fact the name Blocao is a mixed phrase, comes from the word "bloco" what means street carnival and the word "cao" what is the denomination of the dog.

It is visible and felt for everyone that the pets enjoy the dose of care and attention what they get this day. And besides of all they can meet hundreds of other lovely dogs in this special event.

What makes the carnival even more unique is that most of the people do not wear any colourful costumes, everything is about the dogs, the owners wear a blouse or T-shirt with a pair of slippers and lead their four-footed friend on.

Donát Novák

February 2020