In Brazil, Rio de Janeiro's annual extravaganza of musical fun and festivities reached its climax this week with the traditional samba school parade.
In Brazil, Rio de Janeiro's annual extravaganza of musical fun and festivities reached its climax this week with the traditional samba school parade. It is the highlight of the carnival, and samba schools from all Rio's urban districts compete for the coveted crown awarded to the most inventive and colourful parades.
SYNOPSIS: Rio has had its annual carnival for more than 300 years. Originally it marked the restoration of Portugal's monarchy. But now it gives the people the chance to enjoy themselves in a colourful orgy of music and dancing before the austere period of Lent. This parade by the Independent Youth of Padre Miguel samba school -- set around the theme of Braziliana -- was one of the day's many.
The school comes from one of Rio's western zones and prides itself on its coordinated dancing routines and colourful costumes -- many of which cost more than 150 U.S. dollars.
The Portela samba school is one of the city's best known, having won the competition 16 times in the past 40 years.
Their parade this year -- set around the theme Brazilian Woman -- featured a giant white bird, and paid homage to women who have made their mark on Brazilian society.
The Beija-Flor samba school is also one of the most well known. Twice winners of the competition, it was the first samba school from outside Rio de Janeiro to take the title.
More than 25,000 Cariocas -- as Rio's residents are known -- took part in this year's parade which featured the ten best samba schools.