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Nothing can rain on their parade

Few people can party through tough times like the Brazilians do.

Despite battling the worst recession in decades, a political crisis and the dreaded mosquito-transmitted Zika virus, revellers turned up in full force - and full costume - for the carnival parade at Sao Paulo's Sambadrome on Saturday.

Celebrations had kicked off one day earlier under intermittent rain, but that hardly dampened spirits.

Despite some belt-tightening, the annual mega-bash - famed for skimpily dressed revellers, lavish samba parades and all-night street dancing - is expected to attract as many as five million people. The highlight is the competing samba parades, known for their choreography and extraordinary costumes.

Still, the country's economic woes have hurt the carnival industry. The national currency's plunging value means importing mostly Chinese fabrics for costumes has driven up prices and dampened sales, reported Agence France-Presse.

However, costume seller Teresa Curi, 61, said she was looking forward to the weekend.

"Carnival is for forgetting all this," she said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 08, 2016, with the headline 'Nothing can rain on their parade'. Print Edition | Subscribe