Arts & Entertainment

After 2020 lockdown, Brazilians return to cemeteries for Day of the Dead

Rio de Janeiro, Nov 2 (EFE).- Brazilians flocked to cemeteries on Tuesday to mark the Day of the Dead, a tradition pre-empted last year by Covid-19 lockdowns.

Brazil is second only to the United States in coronavirus deaths with 608,000, and is No. 3 worldwide in cases with nearly 22 million confirmed infections.

At the height of the pandemic, cemeteries limited entry to the immediate families of the dead, who were laid to rest in express burials to minimize risk of contagion.

But with cases and fatalities on the decline and more than 55 percent of Brazilian adults fully vaccinated, the graveyards are now open to the public again.

The largest cemetery in the country, Rio de Janeiro’s Caju opened its gates early Tuesday and the municipal government said that it expects as many as 2 million people to pass through the grounds by the end of the day.

Besides relatives visiting deceased loved ones, Caju welcomed fans of celebrity residents such as samba pioneer Noel Rosa (1910-1937) and iconic singer Tim Maia (1942-1998).

And the sellers of candles and flowers who took up positions outside the gates at dawn did a brisk business.

Another major cemetery in Rio, Sulacap, erected tunnels of flowers for visitors to pass through on their way onto the grounds.

The cemeteries in Sao Paulo, Latin America’s most populous city, likewise saw large crowds, while 500,000 people were expected to visit the graveyards of Brasilia during the course of the day. EFE wgm/dr

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