Rio de Janeiro people waiting for the bleakest carnival season of the century

The residents of Rio de Janeiro did not see hope for the carnival festival early next year amid rising infections and Brazil remains the world's third-largest pandemic hotspot.

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On September 24, the Federation of the Samba Dance Schools of Rio de Janeiro City (LIESA) announced that the carnival masquerade would not take place due to the Covid-19 pandemic. This traditional event usually takes place every February. Photo: AP.

“When the festival isn't held, the samba dance schools or the event organizers are just a few handfuls affected. In Brazil, this event is an opportunity to make money for many working-class people, ”said Mr. Luiz Simas, historian of carnival festival. Photo: AP.

Rio de Janeiro city hall (capital of the state of the same name) has yet to issue an official statement about the postponement of the festival. However, the tourism promotion agencies on September 17 confirmed that the city would not allow large gatherings without the Covid-19 vaccine. Photo: AP.

The carnival often brings together thousands of samba dancers in colorful and elaborate costumes. They can dance non-stop around the Sambadrome arena to impress the audience and the judges. Photo: AP.

In the wake of the epidemic, dance schools were unable to continue making costumes or dancing rehearsals. Many dancers are also unemployed, have to make a living on small contracts. Photo: AP.

Diogo Jesus is known as "dance master" at Mocidade dance school. Now, he must count on single shows to pay his rent. He drove an Uber and made masks for sale at the fair. Photo: AP.

“This is a shock. When realizing the pessimistic situation, many people even fell ill or suffered from depression, ”said Jesus. "The carnival is our life." Photo: AP.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the carnival was delayed only once in 1912, when former Foreign Minister José Paranhos died. Mr. Paranhos is a highly respected figure and the dense activities of tribute to him have caused the festival to be delayed that year. Even during World War II, dancers were not discouraged and maintained this traditional event. Photo: AP.

The decision to postpone the carnival will deprive a vast income of the tourism industry of Rio de Janeiro. Industry experts estimate this year's festival attracts 2.1 million visitors and $ 725 million. Photo: AP.

Drum teacher Laudo Neto shared that his students are not in the mood to study. “The masquerade can only take place when the world moves like it did before a pandemic. I don't see hope in 2021, ”said Neto. Photo: AP.

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