Rio de Janeiro, which is known around the world for its annual Carnival celebrations, has chosen to cancel the numerous street parades that attract thousands of tourists each year.
The city’s mayor said that an influx of COVID-19 cases influenced his decision, but that Rio will still host its annual main celebration – the lively and colorful parade of dancers from Rio’s samba schools, which attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists to the grandstands of the renowned Marques de Sapucai Sambadrome.
According to Reuters News Service, the smaller, but still flashy, coordinated street parades would not be held due to increased COVID-19 numbers and the possibility of the Omicron variety spreading.
All Carnival-related festivities, including the samba parade, were canceled last year.
“The street carnival, by its very nature, due to the democratic aspect it has, makes it impossible to exercise any kind of inspection.”Rio de Janeiro Mayor Eduardo Paes
Carnival – or Carnavale – is a much-loved tradition in Brazil, despite its wildness. This is despite the fact that it is a free-for-all party taking place just days before Roman Catholics begin the most solemn period of their religion – the 40 days of sacrifice, fasting, and repentance preceding Jesus Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection on Easter Sunday.
Other Brazilian cities, such as Salvador and Belo Horizonte, have also canceled or scaled back their Carnival celebrations. Sao Paulo’s street parades will now be held on the city’s expansive Formula 1 racetrack.