The Brazilian Carnival, properly spelled 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. On certain days of Lent, Roman Catholics and some other Christians traditionally abstained from the consumption of meat and poultry -- hence the term "carnival," from carnelevare, "to remove (literally, "raise") meat." Carnival celebrations are believed to have roots in the pagan festival of Saturnalia, which, adapted to Christianity, became a farewell to certain pleasures of the flesh in a season of religious discipline to practice repentance and prepare for Christ's death and resurrection.
2009 Carnival – 2009 carnival started on Friday 20th February and ended on Tuesday February 24th.
A carnival dancer has cost her group the chance to be named the winner of Rio's carnival parade after her 3.5cm 'costume' came unstuck leaving her totally nude.
The Sao Clemente samba dancer's fashion faux pas broke the rules which state that no one can appear completely naked.
Brazil President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva tossed out condoms to Carnival revelers during Rio's samba parades. A presidential spokesman says Silva wanted to show the importance of Brazil's campaign to prevent the spread of AIDS.
Rio Carnival, long a symbol of youth, beauty and sex, added a mature twist on this year’s ending day by giving two women in their 40s a chance to dance nearly nude at the head of their samba parades.