Carnival will be pushed back two months in wake of the omicron variant.
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Performers at Rio's Carnival parade at the Sambadrome Marques de Sapucai in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Performers at Rio's Carnival parade at the Sambadrome Marques de Sapucai in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on February 24, 2020.
| Credit: Carl De Souza/Getty Images

Rio de Janeiro has decided to delay its carnival celebrations until April as the omicron variant spreads rapidly through Brazil.

"The decision was made respecting for the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic in Brazil and the need, at this time, to preserve lives and join forces to drive vaccination throughout the country," read a joint statement by the cities of Rio and São Paulo shared with The Associated Press.

While Carnival is usually celebrated throughout February and into early March, the celebrations are slated to begin on April 21, 2022.

When Rio's famed Carnival samba parade at Marques de Sapucai Sambadrome returns, mayors of both Rio and Sao Paulo are still unsure what their respective carnival celebrations will look like when it comes to the legendary surrounding street performances, The AP noted.

"The street carnival, by its very nature, due to the democratic aspect it has, makes it impossible to exercise any kind of inspection," Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes said earlier this month when the city was initially planning on scaling back celebrations, Reuters reported

Rio's Carnival typically includes a formal samba parade as well as a collection of street parties, all marked by festive, feathered, and absolutely wild costumes. The city's official samba parade features performances from the country's top samba schools, which devote months preparing to compete with one another.

While Carnival is celebrated around the world in places including Venice, Trinidad and Tobago, and New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro is home to one of the world's most famous parties. Rio's Carnival celebration is among the largest in the world and traces its history to the early 1700s.

Meena Thiruvengadam loves wandering new streets and discovering the world's stories. Find her on Facebook, Instagram, or at the airport, and subscribe to her newsletter.