Why not have a party like it’s 1919? Rio De Janeiro Is Hoping For A Carnival Comeback.
Carnival is back, at least at Rio de Janeiro’s samba schools, who expect to put on the party of the century in three months after being postponed by Covid-19.
The elite samba schools of the famed Brazilian beach city have resumed rehearsals in the hopes that officials will allow carnival festivities to take place from February 25 to March 1.
The schools want the comeback carnival in 2022 to be the biggest since 1919, when Rio inhabitants joyfully reembraced life after another pandemic, the Spanish flu, devastated the city.
That carnival will go down in history as one of the most iconic gatherings of all time.
The scenario now appears to be identical. Authorities said a recent drop in cases could make next year’s carnival viable, after it was canceled this year due to Covid-19.
The Viradouro samba school, the reigning champions of Rio’s carnival parade competition, even chose the 1919 carnival as the theme of their comeback procession.
School members hugged excitedly on the dance floor and yelled out the music, generally without face masks, at a recent rehearsal.
With a loud whistle around his neck, the seasoned head of the drummers, Moacyr da Silva Pinto, led some 50 percussionists through a thundering practice as the school’s “drum-corps queen” shimmied in a gold-fringed miniskirt.
“It’ll be the best carnival since 1919,” Pinto, a spright 65-year-old, predicted.
“Samba, like football and the beach, is ingrained in our life in Rio de Janeiro.”
Because of Covid-19, attendance to the rehearsal was limited. However, this did not damper the spirits.
“This is a cry of freedom, of coming home,” Leonina Gabriel, 35, remarked.
“It’s endless happiness: we can take off our masks because we’ve been vaccinated.”
Authorities, on the other hand, are more circumspect.
According to reports, the carnival’s success will be contingent on the pandemic’s prognosis.
More than two million tourists generally come on Rio for the celebrations, partying in close quarters, making the occasion a potential epidemiologist’s nightmare.
Brazil has lost over 600,000 people to the virus, second only to the United States.
However, in recent months, the carnage has subsided.
The average daily Covid-19 mortality toll has dropped from more nearly 3,000 in April to roughly 200 now that more than 60% of Brazil’s 213 million people have been completely vaccinated.
Samba schools, confident in their abilities, have cranked up the carnival engine, turning out thousands of glistening costumes and fleets of floats.
Carpenters, welders, and costume designers are hard at work in “Samba City,” the massive port-district yard where each school has a hangar to prepare. The Washington Newsday Brief News is a daily newspaper published in Washington, D.C.