Latin America & Caribbean

In pictures: Brazil samba schools battle it out in Rio rain

Some of Rio de Janeiro's top samba schools braved the rain in the city's Sambadrome on Sunday evening in an effort to win Brazil's most competitive carnival parade.

Six samba schools had 82 minutes each to parade down the 730m-long (2,400ft) arena.

Another six will compete on Monday evening before a jury crowns this year's champion in the elite Grupo Especial (Special Group) category.

The groups will be judged in 10 categories, including their percussion section, costumes and floats, and their samba song composed especially for the occasion.

Last year's champions, Unidos da Tijuca, will be the last to perform.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Local media said the performance of last year's second-placed Salgueiro stood out
Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Salgueiro's theme included nods to Brazil's history of mining, with representations of gold, emerald and other precious stones featuring heavily
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Grande Rio samba school settled on a theme of playing cards for their 2015 parade
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Revellers dressed up as the queen of spades and characters from tarot cards were at the heart of the display
Image copyright AP
Image caption Their parade also included characters from Alice in Wonderland on elaborately decorated floats
Image copyright AFP
Image caption Vila Isabel chose to honour Brazilian conductor Isaac Karabtchevsky as part of its parade
Image copyright EPA
Image caption Mocidade Independente de Padre Miguel's theme was rather apocalyptic, asking:"If the world were to end, what would you do with your last day?"
Image copyright AFP
Image caption While the pouring rain did not dampen the spirits of the performers, spectators are hoping for drier weather on Monday night

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