Carnival revelers dance away at Rio block party

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STORY: Jubilant spectators watched various music groups play onstage, performing songs in honor of iconic Brazilian musicians such as Gilberto Gil, Martinho da Vila and Gal Costa, who passed away last November.

Some attendees have been anxiously waiting to return to the streets during carnival season after COVID-19 restrictions.

This year, the theme of the carnival in Rio was democracy, chosen as a response to the anti-democratic riots by supporters of Brazil’s former President Jair Bolsonaro in January.

In line with the topic, the backdrop in the Cordao do Boitata’s stage read the words ‘Land, reparation, culture’.

Cordao do Boitata was created by students and musicians in 1996. The street carnival has been recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage of the Rio de Janeiro State.

Rio's Carnival 2023 will run from February 17 to February 25. Experts hope this year’s festivities will help recover the city's economy, which deeply impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.