RIO DE JANEIRO – Clowns from all over the world transformed downtown Rio de Janeiro on Monday into an explosion of color, music and happiness to emphasize the “inalienable right to be happy.”
Around midday on Monday, some of the clowns were already ensconced on Cinelandia square, which was converted into an impromptu dressing room where, seated on benches and looking at their reflections in small mirrors, the funny-folks made their last touch-ups to their makeup and costumes before kicking off a march through the city center.
The organizer of the event, Joao Carlos Artigos, told EFE that the clown parade was staged to wrap up the 14th edition of the international clown festival, which drew clowns from all over, including Spain, the Netherlands, France, Argentina, Italy, Colombia and Venezuela, among other countries.
“We’re here today because it’s National Clown Day and the International Day of Human Rights on which we take to the streets to say that the fundamental right of all human beings is to be happy, that it’s an inalienable right and that there’s nothing better than achieving it with music and clowning around,” Artigos said.
The clown procession was preceded by an enormous and eye-catching dragon made of hundreds of brightly colored balloons.
Raising his voice above the samba rhythms that accompanies the animated march, Artigos also noted that the clowns were seeking “to affirm their right to be in the city, to party and to be happy.”
The coordinator of the cultural association also emphasized the “public” character of Rio de Janeiro, which he said needs to recover that spirit.