At the end of the world-famous parades in the Sambodrome, the best samba schools in Rio de Janeiro shone. With lavish costumes, spectacular floats and innovative special effects, six of the top schools paraded through the Samba Stadium, which seats more than 70,000 spectators, on the last day of the competition until early Tuesday morning.
The "Vila Isabel" school let dancers fly and showed a futuristic "São Jorge", a patron saint of Rio, fighting the dragon. Many samba schools also dedicated their parades to historical Brazilian themes or figures - such as the "Paraíso do Tuiuti" school, which told the story of the buffalo originally from India on the island of Marajó in northern Brazil.
Or the "Imperatriz Leopoldinense", which was inspired by small-format booklets of folk literature for the portrayal of the bandit king Lampião from the north-east. The "Portela" celebrated its own anniversary, drones formed the lettering "100 years".
The jury will soon select the winners
Last Sunday, six of the twelve samba schools in the first league had already been enthusiastic in the sambodrome until early Monday morning, on Friday and Saturday the schools in the promotion class in two groups. On Wednesday, a jury, which awards grades like in figure skating, will select this year's winner.
Even after that, the carnival in Rio goes a little further: On Saturday, the six top-ranked samba schools parade through the sambodrome again. And at the street carnival, music groups are still out and about in many parts of the city.
With the parties, the tourists return
The Rio Carnival is known as the "biggest party in the world". After it had not been celebrated at all or only with restrictions in the past two years due to the corona pandemic, the celebrations came back this year in all their facets.
This also had an effect on tourism in the metropolis on the Sugar Loaf. The hotels recorded an occupancy rate of 91.5 percent, the foreign guests were back. "I've already seen the parades on TV, but you get a different impression here," said German Christian Decker.