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March 31, 2023
Brazilian city Rio de Janeiro held their first full-on carnival since COVID. The 2021 carnival was cancelled, and a muted version of the carnival was held in 2022.
The carnival kicked off on Friday and is expected to peak on Sunday and Monday.
Mayor Eduardo Paes declared the party open Friday, symbolically handing the key to the city to “King Momo,” the jovial “monarch” who “rules” Rio for the four-day free-for-all.
“It is with great happiness, celebrating life, celebrating democracy, that I have the honor of handing the keys to the city to King Momo,” said Paes, who is a self-professed massive fan of the carnival.
“This is a moment of rebirth,” said Pericles Monteiro, a founder of the massive annual street party known as “Heaven on Earth.”
“We went through a very dark period, in terms of both politics and the pandemic,” he told AFP at the party’s 2023 edition — one of hundreds of street parties being held around carnival for the first time in three years.
12 samba schools in Rio de Janeiro will all appear in floats and complete to become champions of the carnival. Dancers and singers donning feather-covered costumes will also be present.
Nearly 700,000 people have died of COVID in Brazil.
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: BARRON’S