Rio de Janeiro Carnival Officially Launched, King Momo Declared Rio Carnival Open

By on Mar 5, 2011 in Current Events, Events, Holidays, South America, World Comments

The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil kicks off on Friday, with millions of people participating for days of cheerful parade and festivities, several international news sites reported.

King Momo, Blu and Mayor Eduardo Paes
Credit: AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd

About 800,000 Brazilians and foreign tourists were expected to join Rio de Janeiro‘s 6 million residents in the Carnival. Hotels in the area were reported to be 95 percent booked.

Mayor Eduardo Paes led the official launching of Rio’s Carnival by giving the “keys to the city” to “King Momo,” an honorary figure chosen before the partying on the basis of his sizeable girth and jolly nature.

“I give the keys to the city to your majesty,” Mayor Paes was quoted saying to King Momo in a town hall ceremony.

“I declare the magnificent Carnival of Rio open!” was the reply of King Momo, followed by a samba dance accompanied by a couple of Carnival queens.

Rio’s Carnival is billed as the “The Biggest Party on Earth.” It is celebrated annually 40 days before Easter.

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