Hundreds of people gathered in downtown Rio de Janeiro on Sunday to kick off Carnival 2017 festivities a month early.
More than ten bloco groups (street bands that mobilize crowds during carnival celebrations) joined in for the unofficial warm-up party in Centro.
Gabriel Firmino, a member of one of the blocos, told reporters that spontaneity defines the spirit of the event.
“I think that the carnival has to be autonomous and free, and not depend so much on the city hall, financial, organizational, and political [entities], as this ends up [removing] spontaneity,” he said.
Rio Carnival 2017 officially starts on Friday, February 24th and ends on February 28th.