Carnival has begun and Brazil is in full-party mode.
Here is some news about the three biggest Carnaval parties in the country. Click on the city name below for more information about its particular celebration:
Rio de Janeiro
The samba school Viradouro was forced by a judge to re-do part of its planned "Goosebumps" theme after a lawsuit by a Rio de Janeiro-based Jewsih group. To represent the Holocaust, Viradouro had constructed a float that looked like a pile of naked dead bodies and planned to have a dancing Hitler. After the ruling, the school chose to re-model its float to a "freedom of expression" theme, while many questioned the school's taste.
Per usual, the Rio's famous massive Carnival floats will parade in the Sambódromo, while street parties will take place throughout the rest of the city.
By popular vote, the theme of Salvador's 2008 Carnival is Capoeira, and the symbols are Mestre João Grande, Mestre João Pequeno, and Mestre Decânio.
A minor blip in Carnival protocal occured when a thin Rei Momo was selected. Clarindo Silva weighs only 128 lbs, while historically Rei Momo weighs in at about 265 lbs! Looks like, after some back and forth disputing, the thin Rei Momo won out.
This year, a Festa de Iemanjá also falls within the Carnival celebration.
Recife / Olinda
Ruled by the Guiness Book of World Records to be the largest Carnival group in the world, o Galo da Madrugada bloco parades through the streets of Recife tomorrow. The police estimate that a million costumed revelers will parade with the traditional gigantic rooster and its 28 trios electricos.
Have fun, be safe, and keep your money in a secure place.