Photo: King Momo
King Momo opened the Rio de Janeiro Carnival on Friday at a festive ceremony where he was presented with the keys to the city, which for five days will dance to the beat of the samba to celebrate Brazil’s most iconic festival.
“I declare officially open this wonderful, fantastic Carnival of Rio de Janeiro,” King Momo said, holding a giant golden key in his hands that had been granted him by Mayor Eduardo Paes.
King Momo, chosen in a popularity contest, must always be a fat, smiley man, and a good samba dancer, with a charismatic personality.
For five days of the Carnival, 575,ooo foreign visitors are expected. Brazil’s Health Minister urged the visitors along with their own citizens to make good use of the 89 million free condoms they would be handing out. (Up from 26 million last year).
The carnival has a reputation of having an abundance of casual sex, which is a concern in the country where an estimated 630,000 Brazilians are infected with aids.