The 2021 edition of the Rio Carnival will not take place due to the coronavirus pandemic. After São Paulo, it is the second Brazilian city to postpone this festival, which was to be held in February. The decision is made at a time when Brazil regrets about 140,000 deaths from Covid-19.
The second largest city in Brazil announced on Thursday, September 24, the launch of the 2021 edition of its carnival, which was scheduled for February, due to the coronavirus pandemic. The city follows São Paulo, at a time when Brazil is mourning the loss of some 140,000 Covid-19s, the second heaviest death toll in the world. No new date has been set.
“We have come to the conclusion that the event should be postponed. We simply can not do it in February. Samba schools will not have the time, financial and organizational resources to be ready for February,” said Jorge Castanheira, president of the Independent League of Samba Schools in Rio de Janeiro (LIESA), told reporters Thursday night after meeting with the leaders of this association that organizes the event.
In July, a first taste of this decision had emerged, when five of the twelve Samba schools had assured that in the absence of a vaccine at the end of September, they would ask to postpone the event.
“It’s not a cancellation, it’s a postponement. We’re looking for an alternative solution, something to do when health security allows us to make our contribution to the city […]. But we are not sure enough to set a date, says Jorge Castanheira.
How about “blocks” of streets that run through the neighborhoods?
LIESA’s announcement only applies to the Samba Schools Competition, which takes place in the iconic Sambodrome in the wonderful city. Each school parades there with almost 3000 costume members, dances very close to each other and sings the whole procession, which lasts just over an hour.
However, the municipal authorities have not yet said whether street parties would be allowed. The Rio Carnival really consists of countless parades of “blocks”, these groupings of neighborhoods that walk dancing, in a pleasing cocktail of music, disguise and often alcohol. These celebrations are above all a nightmare for an epidemiologist. given the promiscuity and the huge crowd they draw: millions of people participate every year, from Cariocas to other Brazilians and tourists.
Such an announcement from LIESA has been in the air recently, mainly due to the high prevalence of coronavirus in Brazil, which regrets the second highest number of deaths in the world, around 140,000, behind the United States. Almost 4.7 million people have been infected.
São Paulo Carnival is postponed indefinitely from July
The epidemic on the ground for the Latin American giant has slowed somewhat since its peak in July, but in the last two weeks there has still been a daily average of 30,000 new cases and 735 new deaths, according to figures from the ministry. The state of Rio is the second most affected by the epidemic in Brazil, after São Paulos.
The São Paulo Carnival 2021 had been postponed indefinitely from July 24, including the parade of “blocks”. The carnival in the city of São Paulo is one of the most important in Brazil. The latest edition attracted 120,000 people to admire the samba schools at the Anhembi Sambodrome, while the “blocks” drew more than 15 million festivities, according to Mayor Bruno Covas.
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The new date for the carnival has not been set, but it may be “in late May or early July” 2021, had specified the mayor of the city with 12 million inhabitants.