24 April 2022

In Pictures: Rio Carnival returns after two-year hiatus

24 April 2022

Rio de Janeiro’s samba schools have put on a dazzling display at this year’s delayed Carnival parades, the first after a two-year hiatus caused by the Covid-19-pandemic.

The schools’ colourful floats and flamboyant dancers entered the Sambadrome grounds to parade before tens of thousands of fans on the first evening of the two-night spectacle.

Drum queen Erika Januza from the Viradouro samba school (Bruna Prado/AP) (AP)
A performer from the Viradouro samba school (Bruna Prado/AP) (AP)
Entire communities rally around the competing samba schools, whose shows are not only a source of pride but also employment (Bruna Prado/AP) (AP)
Members of the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school (Bruna Prado/AP) (AP)
Performers from the Sao Clemente samba school parade on a float (Silvia Izquierdo/AP) (AP)

The Sambadrome has been home to the parade since the 1980s and is a symbol of Brazil’s Carnival festivities. During the pandemic, it was a shelter for more than 400 homeless people and also served as a vaccination station.

A performer from the Viradouro samba school (Bruna Prado/AP) (AP)
A performer from the Beija Flor samba school at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro (Silvia Izquierdo/AP) (AP)
Performers from the Mocidade samba school (Silvia Izquierdo/AP) (AP)

There are months of rehearsals for dancers and drummers, so participants can learn the tune and the lyrics for their school’s song.

The pandemic upended these samba schools’ way of life for two years (Bruna Prado/AP) (AP)
A float at the Sambadrome (Bruna Prado/AP) (AP)
Drum queen Bianca Monteiro from the Portela samba school performs during the celebrations (Bruna Prado/AP) (AP)

The best videos delivered daily

Watch the stories that matter, right from your inbox