(Rio de Janeiro) A celebration of tropical joy, an Afro-Brazilian fight for freedom and a shower of stars: Rio’s Carnival parade laid its final bouquet from Monday to Tuesday night.

The Sambodrome, a 70,000-seat venue built by architect Oscar Niemeyer 40 years ago to host “the greatest show on earth,” as the Cariocas like to say, hosted the prestigious samba school for two consecutive nights. competed.

One of the most delicious moments was the parade of Mosidade Independent Father Miguel School, which delivered a tangy praise of cashews, a fruit whose juice is as delicious as the famous nut.

Even before the rally at the Sambodrome, the parade song has been a hit far beyond Carnival enthusiasts on Brazilian streaming platforms in recent weeks, a rare phenomenon.

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As a very different school, one that was founded a century earlier and thus has roughly the same history as Samba, Portela celebrated the struggles of black activists and 19th-century Brazilian abolitionist Luis Gama.

“This is a very symbolic subject for black people,” Alain Rocha, a 43-year-old black actor and musician, told AFP as he stepped off a spectacular “allegorical” float. “These black people participating in this great Portela parade are so amazing!” They are in heaven, he says.

Carioca Carnival is also an opportunity to celebrate the history of samba and its great creators. Two big names attracted attention this time.

The first Martinho da Vila appeared on the float of the Unidos de Vila Isabel school and composed a song for it.

Alcyone, a singer with a powerful voice and countless masterpieces, is celebrating his 50th career anniversary this year. She was entitled to a lively tribute from Mangueira, one of the most illustrious schools. She could hold a ball and expect the participation of her great friend Maria Bethania, another reference to Brazilian music.

Invented by a community descended from African slaves who were forcibly taken to Brazil, samba has become a symbol of Rio’s popular culture.

Most of the major samba schools, such as Mangueira, are based in the most popular areas of the city. Mangueira is the name of the shantytown where the school was founded 96 years ago.

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