Rio Carnival 2019 Officially Open

Rio de Janeiro's carnival officially began after the symbolic key to the city was given to the fictional Rei Momo, the King of Misrule.

Rei Momo, played this year by Wilson Neto, was given a large glittery key at Rio's Sambadrome while a band played traditional samba tunes known as "Marchinhas."

The traditional Carmelitas block party showed that carnival was already in full swing Friday as percussion groups, bands and singers had crowds dancing and partying in the streets.

Brazil's most popular carnival parades are in Rio de Janeiro, and in the north-eastern cities of Salvador and Recife. Carnival will run through ash this week.