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Brazilians cast off cares as carnival hits top gear - AFP

 








Rio de Janeiro (AFP) - Dancers on stilts, bare-chested cowboys, Carmelite nuns in miniskirts and plenty of bare flesh flooded Rio's streets Saturday as revelers cranked up the volume at Brazil's intoxicating Carnival festival.

 

Crowds of residents and tourists drank and partied during the joyous carnival, considered the greatest show on Earth by many who live in the "Marvelous City."

Despite sweltering heat, millions of people joined multiple street parades in Rio, an annual celebration for almost a century.

The first record of carnival celebrations dates back to 1723 -- but the first samba school was not formed until 1928.

Recent years have seen the popularity of street groups or 'blocos' mushroom and now there are around 400. Some draw just a few hundred people but others attract millions.

Having partied into the night after King Momo, the symbolic head of Carnival, declared the five-day frenzy open Friday, residents were back on the streets from dawn, eschewing more than the briefest of sleeps.

- Party animals - ...more



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