Thursday, February 18, 2010

Carnaval in Brazil 2010 (VI) - Carnaval Wrap-Up

Carnaval has officially ended - the blocos on the streets have come to an end, the massive parades are over, and a winner has been announced. The samba school of Unidos da Tijuca, with their theme of "It's Secret!," ended up being this year's champion in Rio. Meanwhile, placing a 7-year-old as its Rainha may have cost Viradouro dearly. Julia Lira got stage fright, which is more than understandable given the pressure of being the head of a parade at 7 and having cameras shoved in your face, and ultimately, Viradouro fell out of the first division for their performance, and really, it wasn't even that close.

Carnaval had other interesting moments, as well. It was very well attended, including by the likes of the two leading candidates for the Brazilian presidency, as well as Madonna, who was in Rio alongside Rio de Janeiro Governor Sergio Cabral and PT candidate Dilma Rousseff for the event (and the accompanying video gives you a sense of the size and spectacle of Rio's Carnaval). And Geisy Arruda, who had been expelled from a school after her dress was declared "too short" and students brutally mocked her, was able to take part in the parades. (The second link is an interview in Portuguese, but again gives the sense of the sound and sights of Carnaval).

As I mentioned before, there were record-setting heats, making Carnaval particularly uncomfortable this year. Therefore, one of the regional expressions of Carnaval must have felt wonderful, as hundreds gathered in the colonial city of Paraty to partake in the annual mud-fest that marks Carnaval in that city.

Overall, this year's Carnaval looked as spectacular as it usually does, and made me wish to be back in Rio (though the heat reminded me why I was glad I wasn't). For those interested, here are some more semi-offensive, mostly-lascivious, and barely-SFW photos from the events this year.