Even though the world famous carnival should have started last February 12, the iconic samba schools refused to not celebrate the most anticipated days of the year. Live streaming shows, tv specials and challenges on social media aimed to give joy to the country that hosts Christ the Redeemer, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World.
Some of Río’s oldest samba schools such as Mangeuira, Portela and Monobloco will be hosting live virtual shows on its Youtube channels during the carnival long weekend, as well as other less known schools.
The festivities cancellation impacts not only the people’s joy, but also in the country’s economy. According to the National Confederation of Trade in Services and Tourism economist, Fabio Bentes, “revenue from Carnival represents about 30% of all the income in the tourism sector during the holiday season”.
However, Bentes stated that “many cities have declared an optional holiday, so some tourism establishments will be able to reduce the impact with the domestic movement”.
Brazil is recording an average of more than 1,000 deaths a day from the pandemic and as in many countries, immunization campaigns have been lagging. The Sambadromes of Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo that normally host these events are being used as vaccination stations.
Still, some Carnival fans met in small groups of “bate-bolas” -revellers who dress up yearly in exuberant hand-made costumes each Carnival- for symbolic celebrations on Saturday.