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.
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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