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The story

History of Rio Carnival - Photo: Augusto Malta
History of Rio Carnival - Photo: Augusto Malta

Its history goes back to the period of Independence of Brazil, when the elite of Rio de Janeiro decided to move away from the Portuguese past and increase the approach with the new capitalist powers. The Parisian city and culture would therefore become the parameters to guide the fashions and modes to be imported.

Immediately, the great carnival balls in the city appear, which would end up encouraging other forms of entertainment, such as walks or promenades along the lines of the then almost extinct Roman carnival. The idea of ​​moving to dances in open carriages seduced the bourgeoisie, who saw, there, an opportunity to show their rich fantasies to the people and 'civilize' carnival.

Parallel to the movement of implanting a civilized party, other diversions quickly took shape in the city: the entrudo, with its disorganized and spontaneous joy, the black groups of Congadas (or Congos) and Cucumbis, who took advantage of the relative liberality to achieve police authorization to perform and, in addition, other groups bringing together the needy population of freed blacks and small Portuguese traders (later known as Zé Pereiras), who felt encouraged to walk the streets.

The mixture of these different groups would eventually force a kind of dialogue between them. In a short time the mutual influences are noticed through the adoption by the popular carnival, of the fantasies and organization characteristic of the bourgeois revelry. Carnival societies, in turn, started to incorporate a good part of the rhythms and sounds typical of popular games.

The result of all this is that the streets of Rio de Janeiro would see a whole variety of groups emerge, representing all kinds of possible interinfluencies. It is this multiplicity of carnivalesque forms, this organizational freedom of groups that would give rise to an identity specific to Rio de Janeiro's carnival. An identity forged on the streets, between dialogues and tensions.

Source: Wikipedia

History of Rio Carnival - Photo: Augusto Malta
History of Rio Carnival - Photo: Augusto Malta
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