Brazil warmed up for next month’s Rio Carnival with spectacular block parties as revellers took to the streets in preparation for the grandest celebration in the country.
Samba dancers, elaborate costumes and lots of feathers and glitter could be seen as delighted revellers took to the streets for the pre-Carnival Banda de Ipanema ‘bloco’, or block party.
Some people even went topless, covering themselves with paint as they celebrated.
There were fears that this year’s Carnival in Rio De Janeiro could be delayed or hampered.
These worries were based on a significant funding cut from Rio’s new Evangelical mayor.
Marcelo Crivella, a gospel singer and evangelical bishop who took office in January 2017, halved public funding for Rio’s 13 leading Samba schools, throwing doubt on the future of the Carnival.
However, the ‘bloco’ party put to bed these fears in a spectacular and wild fashion.
In spite of a funding cut from Rio’s new Evangelical mayor, Carnival festivities clearly appear to be more or less on track.
Carnival is the grandest holiday in Brazil, annually drawing millions in raucous celebrations, with many of them dressed in the same way as the revellers from Saturday’s warm-up party.
The festival brings in an estimated $1 billion (£802 million).
Although revellers can be seen dressed in elaborate and stunning costumes, a lot of people shun clothes almost completely for the celebration.
Instead, they use paint to cover their chests and faces as they enjoy the biggest party of the year.
Carnival culminated on Fat Tuesday before the start of the Catholic season of Lent.
In the photos, thousands of revellers can be seen taking to the streets for the pre-Carnival party.
A big part of the ‘bloco’ celebrations is the ‘Desliga da Justica‘ carnival troupe.
The troupe is famous for opening the streets of Rio for the annual block parties the month before Carnival.
In the ‘Desliga da Justica’ carnival troupe block parties, the costume theme is superheroes, encouraging partygoers to join them dressed as their favourite caped heroes.
On the day of the parade, all the drummers and singers are costumed.
The troupe also uses a traffic controlling system to ensure that all goes well.
The Carnival begins when the symbolic Rio city keys are handed over to Rei Momo, the Carnival King.
The country shuts down during the event, which runs until Thursday, streets empty and most businesses are closed.
The glamorous and wild celebrations bring together the people of the city.
In Sao Paulo, people enjoyed a Carnival celebration while shouting slogans of female empowerment and anti-harassment.
According to revellers, the carnival is marked by a lot of fun, but also has space to talk about more serious things – without losing the good mood.
Parading for the first time in Sao Paulo, the Vaca Profana block proposed a reflection on society and ‘machismo’.
With women bearing their breasts and singing, they attempted to stimulate female empowerment and rally against harassment.
‘Our body is our struggle. The preservation of our physical integrity, our freedom of choice. Nude or clothed, we demand respect.’