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By Simon Hall, Contributing Reporter

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - With Rio de Janeiro Carnival celebrations only two weeks away, over one million tourists from around the world are about to descend on the city for a long weekend of revelry. These festivities first arrived in Rio when Catholic Portuguese settlers brought with them their pre-Lenten ceremonies comprised of a few simple balls and masquerade dances.

Over time, the gatherings grew more extravagant as they acquired ingredients from imported cultures, and now this festive season is the highlight on Brazil’s cultural calendar.

The international focus on Rio’s Carnival . . .

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