HUFFINGTON POST
03/04/2014 01:35 pm ET Updated Mar 04, 2014

Rio De Janeiro Carnival's Samba Finale Provides Spectacular Close To 2014 Fiesta (PHOTOS)

Rio de Janeiro's whirlwind Carnival season comes to a close Tuesday, with the five-day fiesta culminating in spectacular samba parades and partying throughout the streets of Brazil's second-largest city.

With the World Cup in Brazil just 100 days away, one samba school dressed dancers as soccer balls at Monday night's parade, while another float celebrated Brazil's Grand Prix.

Although lavish parades stole most of the 900,000 tourists' attention, since Friday nearly 500 street parties have pulsed through Rio.

With anti-government demonstrations simmering in the lead-up to the World Cup, a few Brazilians even used mock parades to protest government corruption, AFP reported.

But Carnival, a tradition which dates back to the early 18th century, is mainly a moment of ecstatic national pride. "Yes, it's a party. But it's also us honoring our history and ensuring that samba will never die," one samba dancer told the AP.

Here are a number of spectacular images from the raucous finale in Rio.

PHOTO GALLERY
Rio Carnival Samba Finale 2014
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