Rio de Janeiro’s world famous carnival started in style on Wednesday. Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes handed over the keys to the Brazilian city to Rei Momo – the king of the carnival – and marked the start of the first carnival celebration since Covid-19 hit Brazil.
The mayor ceremoniously handed over control of the city to King Momo aka Wilson Dias and reminded the public what the event means to them as Brazilians. “Years have passed without this ceremony taking place. Carnival is certainly the greatest cultural manifestation of our people, our country, the greatest symbol of our country. Carnival has to do with our history, our ancestry, our culture. “ he said.
The last time the symbolic act took place with Rio’s mayor present was in 2016, when former mayor Marcelo Crivella did not attend his administration (2017-2020), and the 2021 party was canceled due to COVID-19.
King Momo accepted the city’s symbolic key and said: “I, as a flower monarch, declare the greatest popular cultural manifestation in the world, Rio’s Carnival – open. Live samba! Live Brazilian popular culture! Long live Rio’s Carnival!”
The glittering floats and feathered dancers of the Samba school will parade between packed stands in Rio’s famous Sambadrone for the first time since 2020.
A large majority of Rio’s residents intend to flow through the streets and flow into squares.
With the key already turned, it remains to be seen how much post-pandemic party is in store.