+(18) PHOTOS:Brazilian carnival, N*dity Carnival

nudityThousands of revelers and samba dancers took to the street for the opening night of the annual carnival celebrations

Samba dancers wearing bodypaint, feathers, glitter- and not a lot else – have taken to the streets of Sao Paulo for the opening of the country’s wild carnival festivities. Dancers from local samba schools put on a spectacular parade through the huge Sambadrome arena as up to 30,000 revellers looked on. Similar to Mardi Gras, the five-day-long street party builds up to Ash Wednesday and the beginning of the Christian season of Lent.
The carnival’s excesses are considered an “act of farewell to the pleasures of the flesh,” before Lent, during which Christians are supposed to abstain from bodily pleasures. Carnival is celebrated in towns and villages throughout Brazil, but the festivities in Sao Paulo and capital Brasilia  are the biggest – with around half a million foreign tourists flocking to the country every year.
More photos:
A reveler of the Perola Negra samba school performs during the second night of carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Sao Paulo, Brazil on March 1, 2014 (Photo Credit: Daily Mirror)The festival attracts hundreds of thousands of tourists every year (Photo Credit: Daily Mirror) The Gavioes da Fiel samba school's theme for this year's carnival is an homage to Brazilian former football star Ronaldo (Photo Credit: Daily Mirror)

The festival leads up to Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Christian season of Lent (Photo Credit: Daily Mirror)

Lent is a time when Christians abstain from bodily pleasures (Photo Credit: Daily Mirror)

The wild excesses of Carnival are seen as a farewell to pleasures of the flesh before Lent (Photo Credit: Daily Mirror)

Carnival began on Friday and will continue until Shrove Tuesday - or 'Fat Tuesday' as it is called in Brazil (Photo Credit: Daily Mirror)

Carnival is celebrated in more than 400 towns and villages, but the festivities in Sao Paulo and Rio are famous for their scale (Photo Credit: Daily Mirror)

More than half a million foreign tourists visit Brazil for carnival every year (Photo Credit: Daily Mirror)