Though Fortaleza has now been industrialized and has progressed much as a tourist spot in Brazil, it has not forgotten its traditions and you can still see much of their culture in their everyday lives.
Fortaleza and the rest of the state of Ceará have established a type of music that has been appreciated worldwide. Their regional music forro is a kind of dance music that came from folk music like the Chula and Xotis. Forro is a type of music that is produced by the use of guitars, accordion, flute, and percussion instruments. Other instruments that can be used to produce Forro are fiddle, Pandeiro, shaker, triangle and zabumba drums. Luiz Gonzaga and Jackson do Pandeiro is considered as the top two artists to listen to when it comes to Forro. They are even considered as geniuses by some forro aficionados. Gonzaga was the pioneer who mixed different styles of music that produced the forro and Pandeiro added some elements into the music creating a different style.
Maracatu clearance is a carnival performance that has become a tradition of Fortaleza since 1936. It is part of three styles of performance genres that are known to be practiced in the North Eastern region of Brazil. In Fortaleza’s performance of Maracatu cearense uses the blackface, a type of theatrical makeup that is a form of caricature of a black person. The use of the blackface in this performance is said to be of homage to the contribution of the African slaves to the Brazilian civilization. Maracatu cearense groups participate in the Carnival parade in Fortaleza. In 2009, 10 of them joined including the Az de Ouro, the oldest nation that founded in 1936.
Other dances that are part of Fortaleza’s culture and is still practiced up until today are Torem, a dance that came from the tremembés, and Dança does coco, a dance that came from the Afro-Brazilians.
As with other Brazilian cities, Fortaleza celebrates the Carnival. Though it may not be as attractive as with other northeastern cities like Recife or Salvador it is still closely participated and still draws in crowds of locals and tourists. Along the streets during the Carnival, you will see singing and dancing that is accompanied by a brass band as well as shows that are displayed on open trucks. In some areas like Avenida Beira-mar, you will be dancing in the streets.