The first party in the advertising of the perfume launcher (Photo- Reproduction)
The first party in the advertising of the perfume launcher (Photo: Reproduction)

A debate with a surprising outcome took place after the death of the Barão do Rio Branco, a week before the Carnival of 1912. A group wanted to keep the revelry in February. Another advocated that the party be postponed to April. In the end, the residents of Rio de Janeiro celebrated on both dates.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Maria Paranhos da Silva, the Baron of Rio Branco, was a respected and popular figure, especially for having consolidated and expanded Brazilian borders. Just to give you an idea, he managed to annex Acre in 1903, in the middle of the rubber boom.

As soon as the news of his death spread through Rio, the shops closed their doors. Subsequently, the president, Marshal Hermes da Fonseca, declared official mourning and Carnival was postponed to April. Street festivities, however, exploded the week after the Baron's funeral.

In April, when the clubs promoted the official Carnival, the population returned to the streets. A march was successful. It read: “With the death of the Baron / We had two Carnavá / Ah! Great! There! How delicious! / If the Marechah died!” . The marshal, in this case, was the unpopular Hermes da Fonseca.

The double celebration found, in practice, a phrase attributed to the baron: “There are only two really organized things in Brazil: disorder and Carnival”.

The singularity of 1912 is the subject of a master's thesis “O Sonho de Todo Folião – A Year with Two Carnivals (Rio de Janeiro –1912)”, defended by Débora Paiva Monteiro at the Fluminense Federal University. Read more: http://www.historia.uff.br/stricto/td/1605.pdf

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