Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 20 September 2014

Rio Carnival 2012 in pictures: Fun and chaos on the streets of Brazil

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 20: Brazilians work on a float during Carnival celebrations on February 20, 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Carnival is the grandest holiday in Brazil, annually drawing millions in raucous celebrations culminating on Fat Tuesday before the start of the Catholic season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. Police strikes in Salvador and Rio de Janeiro in recent weeks threatened Carnival and raised questions about the countryÄôs preparedness to host the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Dancers of Salgueiro samba school parade on a float during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday Feb. 21, 2012. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
An Imperatriz samba school float parades at the Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2009. (AP Photo/Ricardo Moraes)

Millions of revellers in Rio de Janeiro enjoyed the fun, sun and sequins of the five-day Carnival, a time of joyous excess when the streets fill with bands and people dancing and drinking.

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Rio's star is rising of late, as the city prepares to host the final matches of the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Olympics, and this year's Carnival is forecast to be an even bigger blowout than usual, with 20 per cent more tourists expected than in 2011.

Rio officials say they are better prepared to keep the chaos under control, with more portable toilets, traffic guards and paramedics, as well as a new central command centre.

Although the carnival is most famous for extravagant costumed parades in the city's Sambadrome arena, many residents prefer to celebrate with local street parties.

Organisers said 2.5 million people took part in the street parade that lasted nearly seven hours.

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