With the parade postponed until April, Mangueira stood in for what would be his final court rehearsal before marching to Sapucaí for a Carnival Shout. The tone of rejoicing was in charge of the traditional Bloco Céu na Terra, which for more than two decades has drawn crowds along the slopes of Santa Teresa. The musicians showed that the sky of Mangueira is green and pink, colors that predominated in the fantasies of the revelers, who filled the Palácio do Samba, in Visconde de Niterói, since Friday evening.
– It’s early Saturday morning. The carnival is officially open in Rio – proclaimed, around 2 am, one of the musicians of the block at the microphone, before colleagues entered with the first chords.
Before the block, the rhythmists of Verde and Rosa performed, who entertained the public for almost an hour and a half with a selection of samba enredos, including that of 2022, which honors Cartola, Jamelão and Delegado, three icons that the school took to Sapucaí in past carnivals.
The revelers took the opportunity to dust off their costumes, saved after a long period without Carnival. Due to the pandemic, that of 2021 was canceled and that of this year was postponed to April, after the advance of the Ômicron variant of Covid-19.
In the carnivalesque ballroom that the courtyard has become, there was a bit of everything. A party animal dressed up as a devil having fun side by side with another dressed up as an angel, a clown, a bearded Wonder Woman, a stilt and a ball game.
– I missed you. I really like the disorder in the street, but since this year you can’t, the way is to take advantage of events like this – said store manager Yuri Borges, 34, a resident of Jacarepaguá who went to the court of Mangueira for the first time.
His girlfriend, the teacher Solanea Magalhães, a resident of Campo Grande, also in love with the festivities, criticized the suspension of the street carnival and the postponement of the parades of the samba schools.
The reveler reminded that while other private events and activities are allowed, so should Carnival.
– Myself, I am a teacher and I teach 45 students. In addition, there are people who survive it, such as street vendors for example, who take advantage of this period to increase their income. Taking all the care you can – believe me.
Despite this, she said she felt a greater lack of rigor with the obligation to wear a mask and present proof of vaccination at the entrance to the court. She said her passport was kept in her purse and was not required when she arrived at the site. Meanwhile, there was plenty of alcohol at the turnstiles for those who wanted to wash their hands.
The school’s president, Elias Riche, justified the easing of sanitary measures by saying that, unlike other blocks, Mangueira is not completely closed. Plus, he has a retractable roof that he promised to have open until the party was over.
About the event the school was having on its court for the first time, he said it was to bring a little more joy and didn’t rule out making it part of the school calendar.
– The carnival started today and ends in April. This feast which is ours here today represents joy and life. The sacred land of samba welcomes this public, which is a little different from the usual and who wanted carnival – he explained.
Parade in Sapucaí
About the preparations for the parades, Riche said that they are practically finished and if the carnival was now, the school would be ready to enter the Aenida. He regretted the postponement of the Sapucaí Carnival, which he said is a decision that does not depend on the schools.
The party at the courthouse began shortly after 10 p.m. The public which arrived little by little was animated by the group Samba Faz Bem. The musician Jackal do Sax put on a side-show, making the public dance while waiting for the percussionists to take their turn.
– For me, it is a pleasure to animate this audience. People miss the celebrations, the hugs, the jumps and the fun. This is possible if you take a few precautions. You can go to events, as long as you don’t forget to take your vaccination record – said the musician.