Traditionally given to King Momo, the passage symbolizes the opening of carnival festivities
On what would be the first day of Carnival 2021, the prefecture of Rio de Janeiro opened this Friday, 12th, a special lighting at Marquis of Sapucaí to honor the victims of Covid-19 in the city. The mayor Eduardo Paes he also handed over the key to the city, traditionally given to King Momo and which represents the opening of the festival, to health professionals working on the front lines. “My appeal, with pain in my heart, with a broken heart, is for us to help these professionals and for us to have love for others. And to have love for your neighbor in these next days is to avoid crowding, not to go to parties, not to parade in blocks, not to have blocks. It’s enjoying Carnival in a different way. ”
Nilcemar Nogueira, director of the Samba Museum, said that this is the way to occupy these spaces and make a symbolic rescue. “Today we don’t have moments to open Carnival for parties, but we have to mourn the deaths of samba dancers, Brazilians. But we have, mainly, to claim that there is a political program, a cultural program that includes us and listens to us ”, he said. According to the city, the tribute will remain in Sapucaí for the duration of the Carnival, that is, until Saturday, the 20th, when the parade of champions would be held. Marquês de Sapucaí and Praça da Apoteose will be lit up every night until midnight. Another objective is that the lights are also a way of remembering the victims of the coronavirus that are part of the samba world.
* With information from reporter Fernando Martins