Why are we asking this now?
Because the annual Rio de Janeiro carnival – Carnaval, as it known locally – begins today, a dazzling, extravagantly over-the-top celebration of life that draws millions of people on to the streets of the Brazilian city. The benchmark against which all other carnivals are measured, this multi-million dollar affair – which always starts on the Friday before Shrove Tuesday and concludes on Ash Wednesday – is sponsored by the gaming industry and fronted by some of Brazil’s biggest TV stars. The whole country stops to watch, if not in the stands, then on television. It’s Brazil’s equivalent of America’s Super Bowl Sunday, only with significantly more “wardrobe malfunctions”.