Carnival kicks off

Rio Carnival officially starts today, Friday 9th February, and continues until next Wednesday night, when the 2024 winning samba school will be revealed*! But away from the Sambódromo stadium, through which the schools parade, hundreds of informal neighbourhood ‘blocos’ have already hit the city streets and will carry on for at least another week..!

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*and the winner was Viradouro, the principal samba school of Niterói, with a spectacular celebration of the culture and beliefs of Benin, West Africa (from where many slaves were sent to Brazil in 17 & 18th centuries). See here photos from the BBC