By Waldheim Garcia |
Recife (Brazil), Feb 18 (EFE).- The Brazilian Carnival, after a three-year break due to the pandemic, returned this Saturday to the streets of the city of Recife to the beat of its gigantic and colorful rooster, which attracted comparsas, percussionists, dancers and characters.
The return of the Galo da Madrugada (early morning rooster), a multicolored galliforme 23 meters high and erected on the Duarte Coelho bridge, in the center of Recife, symbolizes the return of the carnival spirit in one of the main capitals of the northeast.
“We are returning to our carnival, which unfortunately spent all that time stopped, but with the grace of God we are back,” electrician Deison Santos, who has never missed the parade that began in 1978, told EFE.
Santos’ wife, the public servant Kátia Mendes, regretted the “forced” absence of the Recife Carnival in the 2021 and 2022 editions, but celebrated that this year the party returned “safely” for “everyone’s fun and with much joy for Recife”.
A rooster symbol of the city and its carnival
“The rooster is a symbol,” added Mendes, who was part of the thousands of people who joined the ‘blocos’ (comparsas) that throughout this Saturday left or arrived at the Duarte Coelho bridge, which connects the Boa Vista neighborhoods and Santo Antonio.
The opening of the Brazilian Carnival in Recife took place on Friday night with a massive concert in an open space in the city’s Marco Zero headed by the famous Caetano Veloso and many of the attendees “tied” with the Galo da Madrugada.
Since dawn, hundreds of people were already prostrate at the feet of the rooster waiting for daylight to begin the allegories and songs around the feathered jacket and in which dances from the region, such as the frevo, and characters stole the flashes of the cameras.
People and even animals dressed as superheroes, characters from universal mythology and local folklore, and figures such as the Brazilian president, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, or the Colombian singer Shakira, stood out in the human rivers.
One of those characters was “Lampião”, a rural bandit from the thirties, who became a kind of local “Robin Hood” and during the Recife Carnival is personified by the retired José da Silva “Valderrama”, 73 years.
“There is no carnival without Galo da Madrugada and his return is ten points”, asserted the interpreter of “Lampião”, a character with whom he tours the country and appears on television programs.
The joy of carnival has returned for the benefit of all
Street vendors of drinks, food and carnival items, such as masks and costumes, celebrated the return of Galo da Madrugada, which, unlike other cities that had an “off-season” carnival in 2022 in Recife, spent the year in white.
“Many people live from carnival, we save and invest all year in merchandise to be able to take advantage of carnival week. That is why it was very hard not to have had carnival these years”, affirmed the small businesswoman Ludmila Gois.
The Galo da Madrugada was born as a small ‘bloco’ in the Sao José neighborhood and in 1994 and 1995 it was considered by the Guinness Book of Records as the largest carnival parade in the world with 1.5 million people.
That number of participants reached 2.5 million people between 2015 and 2018, according to the city’s statistics, always seeking to maintain that leadership of the public in front of the Salvador de Bahia Carnival and the famous Cordão da Bola Preta, in Rio de Janeiro. janeiro.
The gigantic rooster was built, as in recent years, with recyclable material and decorated with LED lights.
The closing of the multidunary street parade will be in charge of Pabllo Vittar, the first ‘drag queen’ nominated for the Latin Grammys, but the carnival party in Recife, as in the rest of the country, will continue until noon next Ash Wednesday.