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Rio De Janeiro Carnival
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Rio De Janeiro Carnival
From: Saturday, February 2 2008, 2:00 pm
to: Tuesday, February 5 2008, 6:30 pm
Cities in many Catholic countries celebrate Mardi Gras (French for "Fat Tuesday"). Known elsewhere in the Christian world as "Shrove Tuesday" or "Pancake Day", it was originally a time for feasting and using up all the cooking fat, dairy products, eggs etc before the start of 40 days of fasting for Lent which begins on the following day, Ash Wednesday. But Rio has mutated this religious festival into the largest, most exotic and best known street carnival in the world. It is now a competition between the various districts of the city or "Samba Schools" to see which of the top 14 can parade the best, loudest, most over-the-top series of floats carrying bands and accompanied alongside by dancers and other performers. Before, during and after the main parades (held on Sunday and Monday), there are many other events across the city, including music shows, carnival balls and separate parades for the lesser samba schools

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