Deutsche Welle (DW) reports that Brazil’s world-famous Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival celebrations officially began on Friday.
This year’s celebration is of particular interest as it is the first festival since Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro took office.
In this year’s celebrations many revelers are partying with a message — one that’s aimed at Bolsonaro, who is known for his controversial remarks about the LGBT community, women and minorities in Brazil.
Several elite samba schools who will take part in a parade on Sunday and Monday are also taking a stand, adopting themes to highlight women as well as the black and indigenous communities.
On Friday, Rio mayor Marcelo Crivella, a former evangelical pastor who disapproves of the Carnival celebrations, sparked criticism for skipping the opening festivities.
Authorities expect some 7 million people, including 1.5 million tourists from Brazil and foreign countries, to take part in Rio’s massive celebrations this weekend.