"A week-long party characterizes Brazil’s Carnival, the Mardi Gras of the southern hemisphere. Celebrations and parades are held throughout the country, most notably in the city of Rio de Janeiro and the Brazilian states of Bahia and Pernambuco. Carnival celebrations vary in length and content, depending on the area.
Rio de Janeiro has one of the most well-known Carnival celebrations. It features more than 100 block parades, many of which are supported by the students and staff of the city's samba schools. Rio's Carnival is heavily influenced by the favelas, the poorest neighborhoods in the city. Favelas residents are often members of local samba schools and participate extensively in group performances. Famous groups include Banda de Ipanema, Carmelitas, Cordao do Bola Preta and Suvaco do Cristo. Every neighborhood in the city has its own street band, with more than 300 bands participating in the revelry. The celebration is the culmination of months of preparation and brings many different types of people together."