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Last Updated: Saturday, 17 February 2007, 20:40 GMT
In pictures: Brazil in carnival mode

Two men in fancy dress

Though Brazil's carnival will reach a fever pitch on Sunday with Rio's flamboyant float competition, Brazilians have already started banging drums, dancing and singing.

Men dressed as majorettes dance conga

Revellers line up to get down at the Bola Petra street carnival in Rio de Janeiro.

Man with rainbow hair and oversized glasses

This man proves that even if you wearing a frown, you can still have fun at carnival.

A reveller of the Imperador do Ipiranga samba school parades during carnival celebrations in Sao Paulo

Brazilian academics argue that nakedness at carnival is about sensuality, not just sex.

Crowds wave their hands in appreciation

The authorities in Rio expect nearly 700,000 tourists to attend this year's festivities, 30% of them from abroad.

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