Brazil's carnivals burst into life with a dash of celebrity as five day party gets started on the streets of Rio de Janeiro


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The Independent US

Rio de Janeiro's carnival celebrations have burst into life as hundreds of thousands of revellers took to the streets to enjoy street parties and parades across the country.

Celebrities ranging from global phenomenon Korean popstar Psy, to US actress Megan Fox are taking part in the celebrations in  Rio de Janeiro and elsewhere.

For Brazil, Carnival 2013 is seen as a significant test of the country's infrastructure ahead of the Olympic Games to be held there in 2016, and before that the World Cup in 2014.

The festivities kicked off yesterday in Rio where thousands of people following spontaneous street parades.

The carnivals have a muted feel to them this year following the nightclub fire in southern Brazil last month that killed 238 people.

President Dilma Rousseff has said she is not taking any part in the five-day party, spending it instead in Bahia state as mourning rituals continue across the country.

More than 60 victims of the fire remain in hospital.

Over 700 carnival processions will make their way through parts of Rio and the events are expected to draw 1.1m tourist and generate some $650m for the local economy.

Click on the gallery above to see some of the amazing Carnival outfits worn by performers in the famous Sambadrome