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February 23, 2009
Rio's Carnival
Bubbles, feathers and glitter swirled on the first night of parades in Rio's Carnival, as the city's samba schools battled it out for top honors in what many bill as the world's largest party. Brazilian celebrities and slum dwellers danced side by side as some samba schools put on brave faces amid the world financial crisis, replacing cash with creativity and enthusiasm.
"Carnival is our Thanksgiving," said Renato Teixeira, a 25-year-old construction worker attending the parades. "As long as we have a good showing in general, Rio's samba schools have accomplished a lot."
The first night of parades lasted from Sunday into early Monday morning. -- associated press (23 images)

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Beija Flor samba school dancers parade at the Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Monday, Feb. 23. AP / Ricardo Moraes


 

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A float of the Grande Rio samba school parades at the Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Sunday, Feb. 22. AP / Silvia Izquierdo



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A dancer performs during the Beija Flor samba school parade at the Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Monday, Feb. 23. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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Imperio Serrano samba school dancers perform at the Sabodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Sunday, Feb. 22. Brazil's carnival celebrations are being held Feb. 21-24. AP / Ricardo Moraes



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Porto da Pedra samba school dancers perform at the Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Monday, Feb. 23. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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Dancers perform atop a Porto da Pedra samba school float at the Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Monday, Feb. 23. AP / Silvia Izquierdo



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Dancers perform atop a Porto da Pedra samba school float at the Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Monday, Feb. 23. AP / Silvia Izquierdo



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Porto da Pedra samba school dancers perform at the Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Monday, Feb. 23. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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Dancers perform on a Unidos da Tijuca samba school float during carnival parade at the sambodrome, in Rio de Janeiro, Monday, Feb. 23. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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Dancers perform on a Grande Rio samba school float at the Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Sunday, Feb. 22. The Grande Rio Samba school parade pays tribute to France during Rio de Janeiro's 2009 carnival celebrations. AP / Ricardo Moraes



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Academicos do Grande Rio samba school dancers perform the Can Can down the Sambodrome on the first night of the Carnival samba school parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Feb. 23. Carnival is the biggest and most popular celebration in Brazil and runs throughout the country until Feb. 24. AFP / Getty Images / Antonio Scorza



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Academicos do Grande Rio samba school dancers perform down the Sambodrome on the first night of the Carnival samba school parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Feb. 23. Carnival is the biggest and most popular celebration in Brazil and runs throughout the country until Feb. 24. AFP / Getty Images / Vanderlei Almeida



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Beija-Flor samba school dancers parade at the Sambodrome on the first night of the Carnival samba school parade in Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 23. Carnival is the biggest and most popular celebration in Brazil and runs throughout the country until Feb. 24. AFP / Getty Images / Vanderlei Almeida



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Beija-Flor samba school dancers parade at the Sambodrome on the first night of the Carnival samba school parade in Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 23. Carnival is the biggest and most popular celebration in Brazil and runs throughout the country until Feb. 24. AFP / Getty Images / Vanderlei Almeida



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Dancers of the Unidos do Porto da Pedra samba school perform at the Sambadrome during the second night of carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on Feb. 23. AFP / Getty Images / Vanderlei Almeida



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Salgueiro samba school dancers parade at the Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Monday, Feb. 23. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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Salgueiro samba school dancers parade at the Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Monday, Feb. 23. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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Dancers perform atop a Salgueiro samba school float at the Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Monday, Feb. 23. AP / Ricardo Moraes



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Academicos do Salgueiro samba dancers perform atop a float along the Sambodrome on the second night of the Carnival samba school parade in Rio de Janeiro late on Feb. 23. Carnival is the biggest and most popular celebration in Brazil and runs throughout the country until Feb. 24. AFP / Getty Images / Vanderlei Almeida



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Academicos do Salgueiro samba dancers perform atop of a float along the Sambodrome on the second night of the Carnival samba school parade in Rio de Janeiro late on Feb. 23. Carnival is the biggest and most popular celebration in Brazil and runs throughout the country until Feb. 24. AFP / Getty Images / Vanderlei Almeida



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Porto da Pedra's queen of drums, Valeska, dances along the Sambodrome on the second night of the Carnival samba school parade in Rio de Janeiro late on Feb. 23. Carnival is the biggest and most popular celebration in Brazil and runs throughout the country until Feb. 24. AFP / Getty Images / Antonio Scorza



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Porto da Pedra samba dancers perform atop of a float along the Sambodrome on the second night of the Carnival samba school parade in Rio de Janeiro late on Feb. 23. Carnival is the biggest and most popular celebration in Brazil and runs throughout the country until Feb. 24. AFP / Getty Images / Antonio Scorza



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A man sprays water onto model Luiza Brunet, 46, queen of the drums' section of Imperatriz samba school at the Sambodrome in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, Feb. 24. AP / Natacha Pisarenko



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