Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations

The globe’s biggest Carnival bash opened Friday, when Rio de Janeiro’s mayor handed the key to the city to rotund King Momo, the mythical jester figure who reigns over Carnival.

About 850,000 tourists are expected in Rio during the raucous, five-day free-for-all. Millions of people across the country will take to the streets and sambadromes to dance and party, effectively putting Brazil on a week-long hiatus.

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A dancer from the Mocidade samba school performs at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A woman works on a carnival float at the Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel samba school in Rio de Janeiro on February 15. (Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Workers prepare a carnival float at the Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel samba school in Rio. (Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
The mythical jester figure who reigns over Carnival, this year’s King Momo, the crowned and costumed Milton Junior and Rio de Janeiro’s Mayor Eduardo Paes hold up the key to the city at the official ceremony kicking off the five-day bash in Rio de Janeiro. Merrymakers are expected to spend $640 million and generate 250,000 jobs, according to the city’s economic development department. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A dancer performs during the Carnival parade of the Imperio de Casa Verde samba school in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A dancer from the Vai-Vai samba school performs in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Dancers from the Imperio de Casa Verde and Vai-Vai samba schools perform in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Dancers from the Vai-Vai and Rosas de Ouro samba schools perform in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A dancer performs during the Carnival parade of the Camisa Verde e Branco samba school in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Dancers perform on a float during the parade of the Mancha Verde samba school in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Dancers from the Mancha Verde samba school perform in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Revelers dance during the Cordao da Bola Preta parade in downtown Rio de Janeiro. (Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A reveler participates in the Banda de Ipanema parade in Rio de Janeiro. (Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Mud-covered revelers hug tourists, and a man holds up his dog during the “Bloco da Lama,” or “Mud Block” parade in Parati. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Revelers hold hands as they fall into the mud during the “Bloco da Lama” parade in Parati. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Mud-covered revelers get sprayed with water during the “Bloco da Lama” parade in Parati. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A dancer from the Dragoes da Real samba school performs in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A dancer from the Dragoes da Real samba school performs on a float in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A drummer performs with the Aguia de Ouro samba school, and a dancer performs during the parade by members of the Dragoes da Real samba school in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A dancer from the Perola Negra samba school performs in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Dancers from the Perola Negra samba school perform in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Dancers from the Dragoes da Real samba school perform in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A dancer from the Mocidade Alegre samba school performs in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A dancer from the Aguia de Ouro samba school performs in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Dancers of the Gavioes da Fiel samba school perform in Sao Paulo. The theme of their performance was a tribute to former Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A dancer of the Gavioes da Fiel samba school performs in Sao Paulo. (Andre Penner/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Workers put the finishing touches on the Portela samba school float, and it and other floats make their way to the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on Sunday. (Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A reveler puts on her costume to parade with the Portela samba school at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Dancers from the Renascer de Jacarepagua samba school dance alongside a float during a parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A performer from the Renascer de Jacarepagua samba school dances at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Dancers from the Renascer de Jacarepagua samba school parade on a float at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
The Renascer de Jacarepagua samba school parades during celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A dancer, left, and Brazilian pop artist Romero Britto perform with the Renascer de Jacarepagua samba school parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Dancers from the Portela samba school dance on a float at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Jennifer Lopez greets people as she watches the parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Dancers from the Renascer de Jacarepagua samba school perform on a float during the parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
The Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school parades during celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A performer from the Portela samba school parades at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
The Portela samba school parades at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A dancer from the Mocidade samba school performs on a float during celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Dancers from the Mocidade and Porto da Pedra samba schools perform at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Performers from the Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel samba school join in the celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A dancer from the Porto da Pedra samba school performs at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
Dancers from the Imperatriz samba school perform at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press)

Brazil’s Carnivals: A Week of Spectacular Celebrations
A dancer from the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school perfoms at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)

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