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Rio carnival cancelled but revellers in suburbs still celebrate

AFP, 14 Feb 2021
The traditional 'Bate-Bola' (ball-beating) Carnival takes place in Madureira, a working-class neighbourhood in Rio de Janeiro with revellers wearing large clown style costumes and beating the floor with plastic balls, which traditionally used to be ox bladders filled with air. Rio de Janeiro would normally be kicking off its famed carnival now, but instead of booming drumlines, glittering floats and barely clad dancers, the Brazilian city's "Sambadrome" is hosting a Covid-19 vaccination drive this year.

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