On the Saturday before the carnival in Recife people wake up early. As soon as the sun rises, a procession invades the streets towards the city center to gather in one of the most traditional and characteristic carnivals in the world, considered the carnival of the people. At 7 in the morning the first chords of the original "Frevo" rhythm are heard and the parade of the "Galo da Madrugada" (Midnight Rooster) begins, the main symbol of the carnival in the province of Pernambuco and published in the Guinness Book as the most numerous group of "foliões" (name given to the members of the participants), since it gathers close to a million participants.

The Recife festival is especially famous for the diversity of musical rhythms that characterize it: frevo, maracatú, caboclinho, la ciranda, coco, samba, rock, reggae and mangue beat, liven up the party, apart from the thousands of shows, 430 Carnival groups and about 180 artists.

In Olinda, the carnival begins a week before the official date. People come and go through the colonial alleys with great enthusiasm, behind the traditional giant dolls. Transgression, creativity and joy make the Olinda carnival a good place among the best known and most popular. The Olinda festival preserves those that are the most autochthonous popular Pernambuco traditions. Groups of Frevo, Maracatus, Caboclinhos and Afoxê, where participants are living testimony to the mix of customs and traditions between blacks, whites and Indians; and that make up the base of the Brazilian people and culture. The main characteristic of the Olinda carnival consists of the small “blocos” or groups with fantasies made by each member and the huge 5-meter-tall dolls that invariably represent famous figures in comical form.

It is a popular festival for all ages: elders, youngs, adults and childrens bring out their masks and enjoy parade through the old streets of Olinda and Recife.