21 Jan

Carnival is the most famous celebration in Brazil. Some say it is also the biggest party on Earth. However, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro decided to cancel Carnival in 2021. WHAT?

Due to the coronavirus pandemic e over 200,000 deaths in Brazil, the government decided it would not be safe to hold Carnival this year in Brazil. Crowding is not a good idea for now. Moreover, there is no possibility of Carnvival without people huddling along the streets of Rio de Janeiro.

The safest bet was to cancel Carnival in 2021. And that is what we are doing.

The government already postponed Carnival before

Carnival was never canceled in Rio de Janeiro before. However, the government already postponed the festivity twice in history.

The two times this happened, the population did not accept the changes and celebrated the party twice. They went partying on the official date Carnival was supposed to happen and again on the new one that had been set.

The first time Carnival was postponed was in 1892. A minister decided to change the date to June due to the litter generated by the event. He said June was a better month to hold the Carnival than February. We know, that does not make much sense.

In 1912, the Minister of Foreign Affairs died one week before Carnival. He was a national hero, so the government decreed Carnival should only happen in April out of respect for him.

Nevertheless, this is the first time Carnival is going to be canceled. How do you think people are going to react?

Carnival in Rio de Janeiro in 2021

Carnaval Rio de Janeiro 2021The official Carnival in Rio de Janeiro in 2021 was set to be celebrated in mid-July. The main samba schools, called the special group, were going to parade at the sambadrome on July 11th and 12th.

However, the mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Eduardo Paes, released a statement yesterday, January 21st, saying it is not possible for the city to organize such a party in the midst of the pandemic. «It seems pointless to imagine at this point that we will be able to hold Carnival in July. The event requires a great deal of preparation from public bodies and the samba schools. Thus, I would like to inform you that we will not have Carnival in 2021,» said Paes on Twitter.

«Certainly, in 2022, we will be able to celebrate life and our culture with all the intensity we deserve,» he continued.

It is important to notice Rio just started the COVID-19 vaccination. So it seems unlikely that most of the population is already immune in July.

Still, the public holiday is maintained for February. That means we will probably have some clandestine parties around the city. However, we absolutely condemn such activities. We are going through a difficult time all around the world and we should all do our part to contain the spread of this disease. 

You are most welcome to visit Rio de Janeiro. Nevertheless, do not get caught off guard preparing for a party that will not happen in 2021.

We will see you at Carnival in 2022!


Learn Portuguese in Rio de Janeiro at Caminhos Language Centre. Study the language while exploring Rio de Janeiro. We offer free after-class activities every day. 

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