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Pictures: Carnival fever hits Rio de Janeiro

Check out these amazing snaps from Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome.
The carnival is thought to be one of the biggest and brightest street parties in the world and draws in millions of visitors from around the globe.
A woman dressed in blue taking part in the first night of the Rio Carnival
In the Sambadrome the parades start just after sunset and don't finish until dawn!
One act ride through the Rio de Janeiro Sambadrome on a giant cow!
The main attraction of the festival is at the Sambadrome where thousands pay to see the Samba schools strut their stuff at the Samba Parade.
Dancers with glittery masks take part in the first night of the Rio carnival.
Feather headdresses are a traditional part of the carnival - but these guys thought they'd go a bit further!
A man riding on a massive feather covered float on the opening night of Rio carnival.
Over two days all the Samba schools compete to see who can be crowned carnival champions later on in the week.
A woman dressed in yellow carrying a huge mouth takes part in the opening night of Rio carnival.
As well as the parade in the Sambadrome hundreds of parties take place across the city.
A dance group dressed in purple and orange take part in the opening night of the Rio carnival.
Every year thousands of performers from all around the country head to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil for its famous festival.
A man dances on a platform next to a tiger float on the opening night of the Rio carnival.
It might look like something out of the Lion King but this parade is real! Check out these pics from the opening night of Rio's carnival...
A float covered in zebras and performers parades through the sambadrome on the opening night of Rio's carnival.