The kaleidescope of colour and music that is carnival season in Brazil has begun with hundreds of thousands of people attracted like moths to a flame to Rio as the nation lets its hair down.
“I declare open Carnival in the marvellous city of Rio de Janeiro. Let Carnival 2014 be one of peace, full of harmony, and a lot of festivities, but responsibly,” said Carnival King Momo, before breaking into some dance moves.
The world will come to this city for the next four days, with some three million visitors expected in all.
Hundreds of street bands, samba schools and decorated floats will be in competition for the carnival prizes, climaxing in the great parade in the city’s legendary Sambadrome.