MONTEVIDEO – The Montevideo Carnival, the world’s longest carnival celebration which lasts over 40 days, began its inaugural parade on Thursday with colorful feathers, vivid dances and lots of singing.
Six “negro y lubolos” (musicians and dancers) of Candombe, an African slaves originated form of dance and music, five parodistas (dramatic groups that parody some historical episode or popular character in humorous terms), five magazines (musical comedy groups) and four comedians were part of the first parade.
Each of the groups not only gave their best to entertain the tens of thousands of Uruguayans and tourists who attended the event, but also to win the inaugural parade prize in their category.
“It is a very typical parade, very traditional in the point of view that has that formality of inaugurating the carnival,” Gabriel Marquez, Head of Communication from Montevideo’s department of culture, explained to EFE.
Marquez also stressed that “it is said to be the longest in the world, because it starts now, on January 25, and ends the first days of March,” making the event last about 40 days.
The first to parade were the Carnival figures, formerly known as the Carnival Queens, a group comprising the winners and finalists of a contest that was held at the beginning of the week.
Gustavo Garcia, the newly crowned Figure of Samba, told EFE that for him it is an “honor” and a “dream” to be part of the Montevideo Carnival’s opening parade.
Ana Clemente, who was among the spectators standing in the front line of the crowd, said her body “vibrates” with the drums and the musical theatre of the parade, adding that she came every year with her family to enjoy the event.