RIO de Janeiro Carnival has returned to Brazil in an explosion of colour and music after a two-year absence due to Covid.
A sea of twirling performers in sparkling outfits were seen strutting along the parade while others danced atop of multi-storey floats.
The event was cancelled in 2021 for the first time in a century as the pandemic raged across the world.
The previous year, the festival went ahead as coronavirus was still just at its early stages of devastation but crowds were restricted.
Normally celebrated in February, the parade this year was delayed by two months as Omicron took hold of Brazil.
The country’s cases spiked in January as Omicron rapidly spread but levels have now dropped to as low as they were in December 2021.
More than 663,000 people died in Brazil from Covid-19 – the second highest in any country in the world, according to Our World Data.
Rio de Janeiro’s mayor Eduardo Paes kicked off celebrations by handing the key to the city to the carnival’s ‘King Momo’, Wilson Dias da Costa Neto, on April 20.
The streets parties in Rio weren’t given approval from City Hall but Paes said he wouldn’t deploy the Municipal Guard.
He said: “City Hall won’t impede people from being in public spaces, from celebrating, but it’s impossible that it happen at such (large) size.”
Parades of dancers were seen entertaining crowds in show-stopping outfits.
Photos show a members from the Unidos Do Viradouro, Sao Clemente, Salgueiro and Beija Flor samba schools taking part in the parade at the catwalk.
The Carnival was originally a food festival celebrating Catholic and European pagan traditions, but it has since evolved into a week-long bonanza of dancing and parades.
Sequins, glitter and risqué looks supported by incredibly toned physiques were spotted in every direction.
The colourful outfits complimented bright smiles and happy faces with revellers looked overjoyed to be there.
Geography teacher Ana Vieira, 48, who has been parading for 20 years said she was overwhelmed with happiness.
She told Daily Mail: “I’m just so happy. I think a lot of people are going to cry… including me.
“Carnival is life. You can see the happiness on people’s faces after two long years staying home and missing it.”
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