Brazilian Carnival Chronology Part II: 1850 - 1932
Posted on 21 December 2018
This article is the second part (of three) of the History and chronology of events of the Brazilian Carnival.
1850 Grandjean de Montigny, a French architect, dies in Rio, victim of the "molhança tradition" (people throwing water to each other).
1851 The police prohibit the East Ball, where prostitutes, capoeira players and gamblers used to go. The ball roused the nightlife on Teatro St.
- Schottische is fashion now.
1853 The Supreme Court Judge Siqueira’s edictal prohibits Entrudo. Actually, for the first time the Entrudo does not occur.
1855 It is founded Congresso de Sumidades Carnbavalescas (Congress of Carnival Personages), the first of the Great Societies in Carioca carnival.
- Appearance of people in “Dominos costumes”, the great sensation that time.
1856 Creation of Sociedade União Veneziana (Venetian Association Society), first Congresso de Sumidades Carnavalescas’ competitor.
1862 Henrique Fleuiss prints on Revista Ilustrada (Illustrated Magazine) the carnival character of Rei Momo (King Momos). The city gets its sewer and septic tank system, and the Santana’s Park trenches are grounded.
1866 Creation of Clube dos Vinte Amantes (Twenty Lovers Club), which later originated Clube dos Democráticos (Democratic Club).
1867 Democráticos Carnavalescos was founded and Tenentes do Diabo (Devil’s Lieutenants) first parade was performed.
1869 Creation of Fenianos (Fenians) and Congresso dos Fenianos (Congress of Fenians).
- Hilário Jovino Ferreira, from Bahia, who is precursor of ranchos carnavalescos (literally carnival “ranches”) moves to Rio.
1870 Appearance of Maxixe, a Brazilian urban dance. And the song “E viva o Zé Pereira”’ rises as the first try for creating the carnival music.
1872 It is announced the existence of the rancho carnavalesco ‘Dois de Ouro’.]
1877 Appearance of Pufes (see 1892)
1879 The Imperial Ball at Teatro Pedro II is promoted.
Below, a very rare 1915 photo of a woman in a car in costumes
1880 Sociedade Carnavalesca dos Cocumbis’s Parade, the first arranged group of the city.
1883 Ivete, who was on a Fenianos float, falls off the float and dies. She was on the main float as a floatee (a destaque – a person who populates a Carnival float).
1886 According to Eneida, the newspapers registered for the first time the word cordão (literally ‘strings’) to define masked people groups.
1887 Beginning of carnival decoration on streets in the center of Rio. The arranged carnival arrives in the suburbs.
1888 Democráticos are now called Clube dos Democráticos and the Great Societies participate now very actively in favor of Abolition of the Slavery.
- Appearance of Zé Codeia character, ancestor of today’s “dirty”.
1889 Chiquinha Gonzaga composes for the famous Cordão Rosa de Ouro, the marcha (a carnival kind of music) ‘Abre Alas‘ - prototype of carnival song.
- There is a new fashion in Rio: the rental of the big houses’ windows in the center of the city, so that families could watch préstitos and parades.
1892 Pufes on vogue (they started in 1877. Texts, some times literary works from writers, journalists and poets, through which the Great Societies praised their own merits and criticized their competitors).
- Appearance of confetti and serpentine is the great novelty in préstitos, parades and cordões.
- For the first time two carnivals are promoted in the city. One in summer (February) and the other in winter (June). Reason: Yellow Fever, which transferred carnival from February to June.
1895 Creation of Dia dos Blocos (Blocos’ Day).
1897 "Golden confetti" is now being used.
1900 Appearance of Afoxé (a rhythm).
- Appearance of the historical character malandro (a kind of scamp man), mainly characterized at Praça Onze and Estácio. The carnival malandros are specially originated from groups of bohemians and blusterers.
1902 This year was considered the cordões year. Police gave licenses to 200 carnival "cordões" this season.
1903 Societies started to present huge floats in their préstitos.
1904 The ragged masquerades are now called “dirty”.
1906 Beginning of lança-perfume (ether-spray) selling.
- Parades move from Ouvidor St. to Central Ave.
- First carnival cordões promoted by Gazeta de Notícias newspaper.
1907 Beginning of children’s balls.
- The first confetti battle is created by Gazeta de Notícias, going from the old pavilion to the Admiral Tamandaré statue.
- First carnival cordões parade on Central Ave.
- Foundation of Rancho Carnavalesco Ameno Resedá, the most famous of all times.
- Luiz Edmundo happily announced the death of Zé Pereira, who had been in agony since 1904. Many fought the noisy presentations from this Portuguese with his bass drum or zabumba and the characteristic song supported by Le Pompiers de Nanterre melody.
Below, one of the first carnival photos in Brazil: 1914
1908 The creation of the High-Life Club in Pascoal Secreto’s mansion changed the city nightlife, with big carnival balls and being the meeting point of bohemians (Santo Amaro St., in Largo da Gloria). The club ended in 1956.
1909 High Life promotes the first Brazil carnival costumes contest.
1910 Black clown Benjamin Oliveira performs Rei Momo for the first time in Spineli Circus.
1911 The big carnival clubs decide to have a parade on Fat Tuesdays.
- They incorporate Confetti Battles in pre-carnival parties.
- Cordões start to decay.
- By Mr. Barnabé Bouis suggestion, who is harmony director from S.C. Paladinos Japoneses, a competition for ranchos carnavalescos starts taking place, and they are supported by Jornal do Brasil (a newspaper).
- The great power of carnival is ranchos carnavalescos.
- Fifty thousand lamps lighten Central Ave. for the parade.
1912 The death of Baron of Rio Branco just a few days before carnival made the government to put it off for April, starting on Hallelujah Saturday and ending on Tuesday. Despite of the govern decision; the foliões - revelers celebrated carnival in the usual date and in April, as well, thus having two carnivals.
1913 New and simpler carnival costumes, like sailors, substitute the traditional ones, like ‘old man’, ‘bat’, ‘skull’, and ‘little devil’. The ranchos carnavalescos, have their parades on the Passeio Público (public footway) as a competition; the winner is awarded with a trophy offered by Cervejaria Hanseática. The ranchos change their way of performance, which used to be simple and took place on Largo de São Somingos, at Aunt Balbina’s “Lapinha”: they became beautiful shows, similar to an opera parade.
1914 Pufes evolution.
- The corso ( seen in many of the photos at this page ) has its climax on Rio Branco Ave.
- The great scandal that time, which was on the newspapers, was the performance of ‘corta-jaca’, a song composed by Chiquinha Gonzaga, in a palatial reception. The conductor had, then, Mrs. Nair de Teffé, the first lady of nation, esteem.
- Fenians, on April 12th (Easter Sunday) promoted a micarême in Rio.
1917 Release of "Samba Pelo Telefone" composed by Donga and Mauro de Almeida.
1918 Creation of Cordão Bola Preta. (December 31st).
1919 Newspapers announce, for the first time, Bloco do Eu Sozinho, created by Júlio Silva, which went on the streets in a Clown costume – it become popular as Clóvis.
The carnival player, which paraded having his face painted, used to carry a signboard with funny and malicious phrases and sentences. Júlio Silva stopped parading on 1972 and died on July 9th, 1979.
1920 Appearance of "carnival marchinha" (a type of samba music). It is a fusion of polka, and the American one-step and the ragtime. The song was Pé de Anjo composed by Sinhô.
- The journalist Francisco Guimarães (called Glow Worm) tries to introduce the French custom micarême by organizing a competition among the ranchos on March 7th, from which the winner was Rancho Arrepiados. The experience was repeated for only two more years.
1922 The beginning of celebration of Penha Festival and Independence Centenary. Also, the first radio transmission in Brazil.
1923 Creation of Bloco Carnavalesco Vai como Pode in Oswaldo Cruz’ neighborhood, which would later originate Portela Samba School.
- Creation of Rancho’s Day celebrated on January 28th. On this day, the first regulation for the parade was created.
1925 First Confetti Battle on Atlântica Ave.
1926 First sea bathing with people wearing carnival costumes.
Below, a Confetti Battle in a 1920 Carnival Photo
1927 Carnival columnists have a Confetti Battle at Quinta da Boa Vista (Park of the Nice View)
- Appearance of lança-perfume rodo metálico (ether spray in metallic container).
- Lamartine Babo, a composer, has his debut in the Carioca carnival. In the 30’s he would make a revolution in the carnival music with the marcha ‘Os calças largas’, together with Gonçalves de Oliveira and in the interpretation of Frederico Rocha.
1928 Creation of "Deixa falar", historically considered the first samba school.
- Creation of Mangueira Samba School.
1929 With the appearance of the trams, carnival gets new attraction. Because a tram is an open vehicle that integrates the neighborhoods, it became one of the ways for people play the carnival.
- The first competition among samba schools happens
1930 The journalist, researcher and composer Almirante innovates by recording percussion instruments.
- The expression Batucada (Beat) is now set.
1932 The I Carnival Ball of Municipal Theater is performed.
- Carioca carnival is now official.
- The main gafieiras (dance halls of the working class people) are created in Praça Onze.
- Lamartine Babo releases the marchinha ‘O teu cabelo não nega’, which is considered one of the greatest all time carnival success.
- Samba school "Deixa Falar" becomes a "rancho carnavalesco"
Below, another great photo of Rio Street Carnival in 1932