Brazil | Magical and mystical night to end Rio Carnival in style

(Rio de Janeiro) Giant elephants on majestic floats, baobabs, black superheroes: the Rio Carnival parades ended on Sunday, celebrating the African roots of Brazil, for the return of the festivities after two long years of waiting.

Posted April 24

France Media Agency

The irrepressible urge to party was evident in this country which suffered enormously during the COVID-19 pandemic, with more than 660,000 dead.

A spirit perfectly summed up in the ultra-colorful and cheeky parade of the Grande Rio samba school, an ode to the transgression and madness of carnival, with monumental floats and dancers in shimmering costumes that enchanted some 70,000 spectators.

Brazil Magical and mystical night to end Rio Carnival


A dancer from the Grande Rio school

In a sambadrome in a trance, this school in Duque de Caxias, a poor suburb north of Rio, highlighted Exu, the Afro-Brazilian deity of the party, often demonized by the neo-Pentecostal churches which support the far-right president Jair Bolsonaro.

“Affirm my identity”

Paraiso do Tuiuti, the first of six schools to parade overnight from Saturday to Sunday, had paid tribute to great black personalities from around the world, from Nelson Mandela to Barack Obama, via RuPaul or Beyoncé.

1664094372 200 Brazil Magical and mystical night to end Rio Carnival


An artist from the Paraiso do Tuiuti school

“It’s really the right time to address this theme, to highlight black leaders, because we are living in a complicated period, with lots of prejudices,” Felipe Cordeiro, a 32-year-old hairdresser, told AFP. especially from Vitoria, more than 500 km from Rio, to parade.

“My heart is beating a thousand an hour, it will be my first time, I’m sure it will be magical,” he added, just before entering the dance.

And the magic was really there: spectators were amazed when they saw the superhero Black Panther appearing like lightning from a tank representing the fictional kingdom of Wakanda, thanks to an ingenious system of mechanical beams.

“The Rio Carnival is made by black people. Taking part in this party allows me to affirm my identity,” Camila Oliveira, a 32-year-old teacher, told AFP.

Guarana and natives

The carnival, which often represents all the diversity of Brazilian society, also gave pride of place to the natives, guardians of the safeguard of the Amazonian forest, one of the main ramparts against global warming.

It is full of natural riches, such as guarana, a fruit with many nutritional and therapeutic virtues, theme chosen by the Unidos da Tijuca school, with the refrain for its song: “Indigenous child, the forest is yours”.

This is a hot topic, as deforestation has reached record levels since the election of Jair Bolsonaro.

The Unidos da Tijuca parade notably showed off a huge float with charred trees, with the heads of fire-breathing dragons representing the destroyers of the environment.

1664094373 356 Brazil Magical and mystical night to end Rio Carnival


A Unidos da Tijuca school float

In another tank, representatives of indigenous peoples held up signs demanding the demarcation of new reserves for the natives and protesting against a bill carried by allies of the Bolsonaro government aimed at legalizing mining exploration on these territories.

The sambodrome has also seen a veritable menagerie of giant animals parade on the floats: crocodiles, jaguars, snakes and above all a larger-than-life white elephant, at least as imposing as a prehistoric mammoth.

Six other schools had already marched in the night from Friday to Saturday and they are therefore 12 in total to compete for the title of grand champion of the carnival, each parade being rated by the jurors according to nine criteria, such as the quality of the floats or the costumes. .

But for those who make a living from samba all year round, marching at this unusual time, two months later than originally planned, is already a great victory.

The carnival was simply canceled in 2021 and postponed this year due to COVID-19.

“We had a hard time organizing the parades this year. Because of the pandemic, we ran out of resources and there were delays in the delivery” of materials for making floats and costumes, laments Leandra Llopis, 47, in charge of logistics issues for several samba schools. .

We wish to thank the writer of this post for this amazing content

Brazil | Magical and mystical night to end Rio Carnival in style

Visit our social media profiles along with other pages related to them