BREAKING NEWS

Thousands of revellers gathered around Rio de Janeiro's city centre on January 5 to celebrate the unofficial start of the carnival season.

Less than a week into 2020, partiers flooded the streets, following the different "blocos" all around town.

"Carnival is a moment that I wait the whole year for because we miss coming to the streets, to sing, to express ourselves, to be happy, to drink and have fun with friends, jump a lot" said Alexandre Mitre, a 28-year-old teacher.

While the cities government official carnival only opens on January 12, carnival revellers attended more than 20 "blocos" or carnival street parties.

The unofficial "blocos" are different from the traditional ones because there are no cars or trucks with sound amplifiers and are not in the city's official schedule.

Rio's street parties are known for their wide variety of themes. Any costume, or no costume at all, is fine, and revellers can choose according to their musical taste and location.

The majority is free of charge and can be either on a fixed spot or itinerant.

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