Oh man, I wish I was in Brazil right now. The Brazilian Carnival, or Carnaval is an annual festival in Brazil held four days before Ash Wednesday, the day of fasting and repentance that marks the beginning of Lent. Brazilian Carnival exhibits some differences from its European counterparts, having mixed Euro, Native and African elements. Furthermore, rhythm, participation, and costume vary from one region of Brazil to another. In the southeastern cities of Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo, organized parades led by samba schools vie for prizes on the "sambodromo" open stage. Only samba-school affiliates participate in the shows.
See the photos at the Big Picture.