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'Now we can be happy again': Brazil carnivals return after break for pandemic

After a two year break due to the coronavirus pandemic, carnivals were held in Rio de Janeiro (and Sao Paulo)

Rio’s Sambadrome, where the most expensive seats cost almost PS1,000, was bustling with dancers in stunning costumes.

It is a symbol of Brazil’s carnival celebrations, and has been the home of the parade since 1980.

Image The Revellers of Sao Clemente samba class at the Sambadrome, Rio de Janeiro
Image: In Sao Paulo Brazil, dancers from the Tom Maior Samba School perform. Pic: AP

It was used as a hospital and shelter for over 400 people during the pandemic.


Ketula Mello (38), a muse at Imperatriz Leopoldinense’s samba school, stated that she was delighted to be back.

“These two years were terrible. She said that they can now be happy again, wearing a black-and-white costume made from shells.

Image: Performer during the Sao Paulo Carnival Special Group Parade at the Anhembi Sambadrome. Pic: AP
Image The event of last year was cancelled due to the Delta variant

Brazil confirmed its first cases COVID-19 mid-March 2020, right after the conclusion of this year’s carnival celebrations.

The Omicron variant caused the cancellation of the 2021 event. This year, celebrations were delayed by two months.

Carnival preparations at samba schools create many jobs, including many seamstresses and welders.

Rehearsals are held for months in advance by dancers as well as drummers.

Image: The Omicron variant delayed this year’s celebrations by two months. Pic: AP

Parade participants often receive free tickets throughout the year.

Juciara do Nacimento Santos (66 years old) said that people needed to take care of themselves during the pandemic to be able to “be here today, celebrating life.”

Street parties were held in Rio, despite City Hall’s refusal to allow them to happen.


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