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"Sambodromo" at the Rio Carnival. File image.
"Sambodromo" at the Rio Carnival. Photo: AFP

Rio de Janeiro Carnival makes its 2022 return

Rio de Janeiro's Carnival will return to the streets in 2022 with more than 500 street parades as Brazil's most representative festival.

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After the last Carnival was canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Eduardo Paes, mayor of Rio de Janeiro, confirmed on Sunday, Oct. 17, that 2022's Rio de Janeiro Carnival is expected to be held without restrictions or social distancing measures. 

"Until November we will vaccinate the entire Carioca population with the two doses, then most likely we will have no more restrictions and for sure we will have the carnival, one of the biggest carnivals we will have, without restrictions." 

As reported on Tuesday, Oct. 19, 504 comparsas are waiting to be approved by the authorities to participate in what is expected to be one of the biggest carnivals in history. The definitive list of the chosen comparsas will be announced at the end of December.

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The "comparsas" or "blocos de rua," are the popular performances that give meaning to Carnival. During the days of celebration, they are followed through the streets of the city by thousands and thousands of "folioes" or revelers, gathering up to 1.5 million people to the rhythm of their traditional "marchinhas."

At the last on-site carnival in 2020, more than 10 million people circulated through the streets of Rio de Janeiro. Next year, Brazil's most emblematic festival is scheduled to take place from Feb. 25 to March 5, 2022, if the pandemic allows it and health institutions give their approval. 

Brazil has been one of the countries hardest hit by COVID-19, with more than 600,000 deaths and 21.6 million cases since the beginning of the pandemic. Likewise, the sale of tickets for the 2022 Rio de Janeiro Carnival began last Thursday, Oct. 14.

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