The Carnival has already awakened the Brazilian streets, less than a week before its peak. The economic engine that fuels the party is working at full capacity with the hope of raising around 9,000 million reais (about 1.8 billion dollars).
The National Trade Confederation expects the festivities to end this year record turnover10% higher than last year, in addition to 25,000 temporary jobs and a hotel occupancy of more than 60% throughout the country.
On the central 25 de Marzo street in San Pablo, one of the favorite places to get a costume, there is barely room to walkr on the sidewalks full of customers. In stores, of course, there is no shortage of sequins and neon colors.
“Blessed Carnival,” proclaims a banner at the entrance of one of them. Karina Theodoro, the manager of the establishment, explains to EFE that the increase in sales It started in the first week of January.
Costumes that will be used on one of the Carnival floats this year, in the warehouse of the Vai Vai Samba School, in San Pablo. Photo: EFe
Among the clients who search through the colorful and bright products is Mónica Gómez, who says she is starting to look for accessories as soon as the previous Carnival ends.
Gómez's budget for this year is about 200 reais ($38), but there are buyers who spend more than 500 reais on a single purchase, according to Luiz Gustavo de Oliveira, manager of another store on 25 de Marzo.
The Carnival Factory
At the São Paulo Samba Factory, where everything necessary to carry out the parades is produced, the Carnival has been brewing for months.
The gigantic gates of what looks like an airport hangar hide the floats of each samba school, on which painters and welders still work tirelessly finalizing every detail before next weekend's parade at the sambodrome.
An artisan works on the final preparations of the floats. Photo: EFE
Luiz Robles, coordinator of the Vai-Vai school, the city's biggest champion that has been parading since 1930, reveals to EFE that preparations began last March. Despite the advance notice, he explains that “the biggest challenge is always arriving on time.”
Rehearsals have been held every Sunday since August to fine-tune the parade of more than 2,000 people, who this year will dress up to celebrate 50 years of hip hop, the musical genre.
Organizing a project of such magnitude costs this school about three million reais and throughout the process around 600 jobs are generatedamong carpenters, welders, sculptors, designers and seamstresses.
Detail of a float. Photo: EFE
But the economy of Carnival goes beyond the parades at the sambadrome. The sector has become more sophisticated over the years and now there are options for all audiences, from those looking to take to the streets with the bare minimum to those who want to. a more exclusive environment.
The private parties that move millions
In Salvador, capital of Bahia, businesswoman Luciana Villas-Boas runs Camarote Salvador, a private party whose tickets for one day cost up to 4,500 reais and which claims to employ around 5,000 people, directly or indirectly.
“There is a lot of demand for parties during Carnival, but the sector is also very segmented with products for families, seniors. Ours is the single public that frequents the European summer,” the businesswoman explains to EFE.
In addition to the usual electronic music and Brazilian samba concerts, this year the offer includes a concert by Colombian reggaeton artist J Balvin. “Reggaeton was the rhythm that was missing,” says Villas-Boas.By Laura Rodríguez and Jon Martín Cullell, from EFE