Rio Carnival: All the best pictures from the 2020 carnival celebrations

Rio Carnival is one of the biggest events in the Brazilian calendar

This weekend, Rio Carnival kicked off in Rio de Janeiro, the bustling seaside city in Brazil.

Carnival is one of the most significant events in the Brazilian calendar, spanning several days up until Ash Wednesday.

The supercharged, lively celebrations consist of samba competitions between rival dance schools, parades and block parties, with revellers dressing in vibrant costumes as they take to the streets.

Rio Carnival can trace its roots back to European pagan traditions and Catholicism, having originally been observed as a food festival in the lead-up to Lent.

Click through the gallery above to see the best pictures captured at this year's Rio Carnival festivities.

Carnival officially begins in Rio with traditional Carmelitas bloco

Rio Carnival traditionally commences with a series of block parties, including one in the neighbourhood of Santa Theresa called “Bloco das Carmelitas”.

It is said that the block party, which takes its name from the Carmelite Convent in the area, was inspired by the story of a Catholic nun, who one day left her convent to partake in a carnival street party.

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