Seventy-thousand people, including U.S. actor Will Smith, filled the stands of the world famous Sambadrome for day three of the Rio de Janeiro carnival, on Sunday.
Kicking off the celebrations was the Inocentes de Belford Roxo samba school, which chose the 50 year history of South Korean immigration to Brazil as its storyline.
Fifty-year-old Giane da Silva Pereira is a member of the Inocentes de Belford Roxo. She has been dancing at Carnival for the last 40 years and she credits her grandmother with teaching her the trade.
”It’s the best feeling in the world. I learned how to dance with my grandmother and now I’m here,” she said.
Festivities were full of exuberance and color.
As Keila dos Santos was about to parade at the Sambadrome, she said she was looking forward to many years of participating.
”I’m very happy; I’ve got samba in my feet. At 47 years of age, I am a mulatto full of life,” she said.
Following the Inocentes the Belford Roxo was the Salgueiro samba school, which chose to talk about fame. Salgueiro is popular with a number of celebrities in Brazil.
Fittingly enough, Hollywood actor Will Smith was standing close by, watching the Salgueiro samba school performers.
Each samba school has a maximum of an hour and twenty minutes to parade the 500-foot long Sambadrome. The party on Sunday lasted until the early hours of Monday morning (February 11), with the Portela samba school starting its parade at 02.25 am.
Carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro will continue for the next two days, with millions of people still expected to take part in the hundreds of street parties scattered throughout the city.