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Last Updated:  Sunday, 2 March, 2003, 00:42 GMT
In pictures: Carnival in Rio
Red and Black ball in Rio de Janeiro
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Locals and visitors danced into the night at the traditional Red and Black ball
Police at Complexo do Alemao
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Police are keeping a close eye on the shantytowns around Rio
Alex de Oliveira is the king of the carnival
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The Rei Momo - or Fat King - is elected each year to open celebrations with the Carnival Queen
Rodrigo Bonan, a sculptor, prepares a float for carnival on Friday
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Preparations for carnival floats and parades go on all year round
Samba drummers
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The samba schools which lead parades can each comprise up to 4,000 drummers and dancers
Masked dancer
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Carnival is a time for adopting new identities and escaping daily realities


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