Rio’s Carnival delayed because of the Virus

Rio de Janeiro had delayed the annual Carnival parade, saying on Thursday night that the global spectacle cannot go on in February because of Brazil’s continued susceptibility to the pandemic.

LIESA and Rio’s League of Samba Schools have announced that the coronavirus’s spread made it impossible to hold the traditional parades, which are a cultural mainstay and, for the majority, a source of livelihood.

“Carnival is a party upon which many humble workers depend. The samba schools are community institutions, and the parades are just one detail of all that,” said Luiz Antonio Simas, a historian who specifies in Rio’s Carnival.

“An entire cultural and productive chain was disrupted by COVID.”

Rio’s City Hall is yet to announce a decision about the Carnival street parties that have also taken place across the city. But the tourism promotion agency addressed a statement on a press on Sept. 17 that without a coronavirus vaccine, it will be uncertain when a large public event can finally resume.

Brazil’s first confirmed coronavirus case was declared on Feb. 26, a day after the Carnival ended. As the number of infections increases, the samba schools that participate in the glitzy annual parade have halted the 2021 event preparations. On Thursday’s announcement, it has removed the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the city – the worst hit by Brazil’s pandemic.

Almost all of Rio’s samba schools are closely connected to working-class communities. Their processions also include the elaborate floats accompanied by energetic drummers and costumed dancers who sang at the top of their lungs to impress a panel of judges. Thousands of spectators pack the arena’s bleachers, named Sambadrome, while millions watch on television from home.

Before the schools began competing in the 1930s, the Carnival was celebrated in dance halls and haphazardly on the streets, Simas stated. The parades have entered the Sambadrome in the 1980s and have been Rio’s typical Carnival display.

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