Carnival kicks off in Brazil

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Carnival kicks off in Brazil

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The sound of samba permeates the air, as dancing fills the Sambodrome.

The annual carnival in Rio de Janeiro takes place over 5 days and has attracted around 900,000 tourists. This year marks the first time the number of Brazilian tourists matches the number of foreigners attending the event.

Celebrations were toned down elsewhere in Brazil following the recent nightclub fire tragedy in the southern city of Santa Maria which left 238 dead.

President Dilma Rousseff attended a mass on Thursday in memory of the victims. Hundreds of nightclubs remain closed in a crackdown on lax safety practices.

In the capital, the show must go on as the event is expected to generate 665 million dollars for the local economy.