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(Español) Las comparsas ya desfilan por Río de Janeiro

The Rio Carnival, known locally as the ‘Rua Carnaval’, began on Saturday with performances from dance troupes Liga dos Blocos and Bandas da Zona Portuaria.

Hundreds of people danced through the streets to the beat of drums blared through powerful loudspeakers.

The celebrations, which officially begin on Sunday, will continue over the next few weeks, extending across the entire city.

In total, municipal officials have authorized 505 street bands to parade through the city during the almost month-long festival, marking an 11 percent increase on last year.

The carnival will end on February 14 with a traditional closing ceremony.

Elsewhere in the country, Sao Paulo also kicked off celebrations on Saturday for another of the country’s biggest carnivals

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