Brazil’s Carnival celebrations for the year 2013 began on Saturday, 9th February as hundreds of thousands took to the streets to enjoy the start of the country’s famous parades and street parties.
Considered to be the biggest carnival in the world, the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is attended by two million people per day on the streets.
The typical Rio carnival parade is filled with revelers, floats and adornments from numerous samba school which are located in Rio.
The samba schools competition, with its sophisticated floats and costumes, is set to happen in Rio’s Sambadrome between Sunday and Monday.
Some of the popular samba schools are – Mangueira, Mocidade, Unidos da Tijuca, Salgueiro, Vila Isabel, Beija-Flor, Grande Rio, Portela, Uniao da Ilha, Imperatriz, Sao Clemente, Porto da Pedra, Renascer de Jacarepagua, etc
According to estimates, the carnival is set to draw 1.1 million tourists to Rio, generating some $650m (£410m) for the local economy with hotels and restaurants booked almost to capacity.
International stars such as US actor Will Smith, rapper Kanye West and actress Megan Fox are already in the city for the celebrations.
Korean popstar PSY, whose “Gangnam Style” single with its signature dance moves has made him a global phenomenon had also performed on the first day of the carnival in front of huge crowds in Salvador, Brazil’s third-biggest city.