Let me start this out with an unpopular opinion: I think this is just a preview of what is to come for Mardi Gras festivities in Louisiana in 2021. For the first time in over 100 years, Carnival celebrations will be postponed in Rio de Janeiro, and you probably already know why - concerns about coronavirus. Dates for next year's Carnival are Friday, February 12 through Wednesday, February 17th. Mardi Gras day is February 16th.

On Thursday, the League of Samba Schools, also known as LIESA, announced that festivities for the annual celebration would be virtually impossible to hold in 2021. They cite safety concerns and the spread of COVID-19 as a reason for their uneasiness in going forward with one of their most treasured cultural events. Like Louisiana, parades are only part of the season, but one that many, many livelihoods depend on. Luiz Antonio Simas,  who is a historian specializing in Rio’s Carnival told USA Today “An entire cultural and productive chain was disrupted by COVID.” A tourism agency also told the Associated Press last week that without a coronavirus vaccine, the future is uncertain for large public events at this time.

Rio de Janeiro city hall officials have not made an official decision on the famous street parties yet. The last time the celebration was suspended was in 1912 after a foreign relations minister passed away. Keeping our fingers crossed that we all will be able to celebrate safely next year! Watch the video below to get a glimpse of what it's like in Brazil for Carnival. (Not much different than here.)