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Rio's carnival is here!

Rio's carnival is here!

Posted by Juan Gavasa on February 14, 2015

Carnival kicked off across Brazil Friday and until Tuesday, Feb. 17, Brazil will be in a state of ecstasy, at least until the first hangover hits. For those who can’t be in Rio de Janiero or Salvador for what is said to be the biggest party in the world, check out some videos and the schedule below so you know when to look for the best musical performances and parades in Brazil over the next five days.

YouTube launched a dedicated channel for Carnaval de Salvador, which is the second biggest Carnival celebration in Brazil behind Rio's massive festival. Around 2.5 million people take part in Salvador’s Carnaval, helping to boost the city’s economy every year. The folks behind YouTube Carnaval (the Portuguese translation for Carnival) are uploading the best musical performances in Salvador, Bahia. They uploaded more than two dozen videos over the last few days, including some “FitDance” videos that blend workouts and Brazilian dancing. Here are a couple:

For a full schedule of what’s going on in Rio, see Brazil’s official Carnival site here. On Saturday, there will be street band competitions, more parades and the Magic Ball at the Copacabana Palace, where celebrities from all around the world come to celebrate Carnival. Sunday and Monday are when thousands of “First League” samba school dancers compete for the favor of more than 70,000 spectators at the Sambodromo as part of the Special Parade, according to Agence France-Presse. Samba schools are more like clubs than schools and can be found in many of Rio de Janiero’s neighborhoods. Dancers at each school compete with each other all year to get a nod from their local judges to represent their schools at the Sambadromo. See a full schedule of the Samba competitions here.

Tuesday starts with the final march of the Banda de Ipanema and ends with the Gay Ball in Rio Scala, the final sendoff before Lent, a six-week long Christian tradition that in some denominations involves fasting and penance. Carnival was founded as a guilt-free celebration to prepare people for what is traditionally a humbling six weeks.  Here's some photos from the first day of Carnival in Rio:

Revellers take part in an annual block party known as "Carmelitas", one of the many carnival parties to take place in the neighbourhoods of Rio de Janeiro February 13, 2015.  Reuters/Pilar Olivares


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