INTRODUCTION: Governments topple; floods, fire, famine, and disaster strike. The world and its people have?
INTRODUCTION: Governments topple; floods, fire, famine, and disaster strike. The world and its people have all sorts of problems, but in Brazil, nothing stops its annual Carnival.
SYNOPSIS: It's been a feature of life in the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro for more than three hundred years. Originally it marked the restoration of Portugal's monarchy but today, after much transformation, it marks the yearly eruption of the people's joyous nature before the onset of the abstemious and austere period of Lent in this deeply religious Roman Catholic land.
The celebrations last for days and the major part is the parades through the Avenida Presidente Vargas of the various groups, each with their different theme. There are many groups, the main ones are called "Samba schools".
Individuality and originality are highly regarded in the efforts of the groups whose preparations have taken most of the year. Everyone regards the time and money spent as well worth it -- participants and spectators alike. The Cariocas--as Rio residents are called--go crazy. This parade is the more formal side of the Carnival.
The carnival has gone through many changes since its inception. Much formality surrounds the judging of the costumes and what the various groups seek to portray. Feeling runs high and those who win are feted and revel in their acclaim for much of the ensuing year. Rules come and go but the extraordinary lavishness continues. There is now a special event for the most magnificent costumes.
The main costume competition took place this year, appropriately enough, in the Museum of Modern Art. Paulo Varelli as the Resurrection of the Old Carnivals, won the Male Originality Prize. The Women's section was won by Yvette Garrido portraying "the Noble Art of Philately". Perhaps one of the most stunning of the costumes was Margaroni Vidal's "Condor of The Andes". But for glitter and title, "Aton the Sun of Egypt" worn by Jesus Henriques, has to be a winner.