By Angus MacSwan. Revellers from the Mangueira do Amanha children's samba school dance during their Carnival parade in the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro February 1, Crowds gathered in the historic hilltop district of Santa Teresa for one of the most popular binges, the Bloco das Carmelitas. Elsewhere, bars and cafes overflowed onto the streets as the beat of samba drums rose above the throng. Many of the revelers in Santa Teresa wore hats shaped liked condoms -- distributed as part of a campaign to promote safe sex and prevent the spread of sexually transmitted disease. The government has handed out
Condoms, Caipirinhas and Luxury Love Motels at the Rio Carnaval
The beat of the drums resonates down the streets of Rio every year for three weeks. Known as one of the greatest parties on the planet, millions of people dance and celebrate to Brazilian music. By definition, it is a carnal holiday with a lack of real authority. Thieves are so common in the crowds that people have taken to buying cheap phones to take out to the street parties in case they get robbed. There is no shame or punishment for peeing in the streets — for men or women. Flowerbeds and plants that are nurtured all year long are stepped on and destroyed.