Bola Preta, Or The ‘Black Ball” Kicks Off Celebration In Rio
Brazil’s five-day Carnival celebration is underway in 2017 as hundreds of thousands of people kicked it off for Bola Preta in Rio’s historic center.
This “Black Ball” features people dressed in black and white as they sing traditional Carnival anthems, including the occasional breaking out into Rio’s theme, “Cidade Maravilhosa,” or the Marvelous City. Held on a Friday, this traditionally kicks off the country’s five-day festival that culminates with Fat Tuesday on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
All over the country, there’s parades, block parties and a wild celebration that is the biggest party of the year in lively Brazil.
There is a different undertone to 2017 as several cites have cut back on Carnival celebrations due to economic reasons. Rio, for example, is excepting fewer Brazilian tourists and Sao Paulo, the country’s largest city, cut the Ministry of Culture’s budget by more than 40%.
Some cities have canceled their celebrations but of course Brazilians still take to the streets to dance and party.
Police strikes in some cities, including Rio, have ended (if just for Carnival) and tens of thousands of people are turning out for countless street parties all over the country. Parades are taking place in Rio, Sao Paulo and Salvador.
The samba dance, by the way, celebrates its 100th birthday at this year’s Carnival. It was born on Nov. 27. 1916.
It helps bring out the spirit of the Brazilians and the color of Carnival, which involves wild costumes, sexy outfits for sexy female samba dancers, continuous music and partying and parades that last well into the early morning hours.
So while things may not be perfect in Brazil this year, the party and parting continues because that’s what Carnival is and that’s what the Brazilian people are made out of, and not even a sagging economy can slow down a country’s colorful culture.