Samba dancers wearing bodypaint, feathers, glitter- and not a lot else – have taken to the streets of Sao Paulo for the opening of the country’s wild carnival festivities.
Dancers from local samba schools put on a spectacular parade through the huge Sambadrome arena as up to 30,000 revellers looked on.
Similar to Mardi Gras, the five-day-long street party builds up to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Christian season of Lent.
The carnival’s excesses are considered an “act of farewell to the pleasures of the flesh,” before Lent, during which Christians are supposed to abstain from bodily pleasures.
Carnival is celebrated in towns and villages throughout Brazil, but the festivities in Sao Paulo and capital Brasilia are the biggest – with around half a million foreign tourists flocking to the country every year.