Brazil celebrates the return of Carnival

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Thousands jammed into Rio de Janeiro’s iconic Sambadrome on Saturday for Carnival celebrations after two years of pandemic delays.

Rio de Janeiro’s top samba schools began strutting their stuff late Friday, which was the first evening of the two-night spectacle.

Brazil confirmed its first cases of COVID-19  in mid-March 2020, just after that year’s Carnival festivities came to an end. The 2021 edition was swiftly cancelled due to the rise of the Delta variant.

“These two years were horrible. Now we can be happy again,” Ketula Melo, 38, a muse in the Imperatriz Leopoldinense school dressed as the Iemanja deity of Afro-Brazilian religions, said Friday night. She wore a revealing black-and-white costume made of shells.

Here’s a look at some of this weekend’s dazzling celebrations.



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