Attracting more than two million people per day onto the streets of the famous Brazilian city, from different parts of the globe, Rio is considered the world’s biggest and most glittering carnival, and the party of a lifetime for many, with those who attend prepared to samba the day and night away for five days straight. Beginning with the crowning of King Momo (the Fat King), who is presented with an over-sized silver and gold key by Rio’s mayor, street bands, dancers and party folk take over the squares and the streets as the festivities get underway, led by traditional samba schools hailing from the city’s favelas. While the main parade at the Sambodromo might be the most iconic in the world, the real festivities happen in and around the streets, with more than 500 parties taking place across the city before and after carnival weekend, bringing the huge metropolis to a colourful and loud standstill. Be sure to catch a Bloco, sometimes called bandas, which are free street parties that take place throughout the city, plus at least one outrageous costume party.