Carnaval...the annual 5-day exercise in pure hedonism that Brasil and Rio are famous for...began on Friday.
King Momo (foto) got the symbolic key...and will pocket $10,000 for the 5th year.
King Momo, 33...is a really a hefty Rio bank teller...who must hold court...and preside over dozens of events...especially the famous samba contest/parade of 12 schools.
Rio itself will hold over 700 processions.
Over 1.1 million tourists will attend carnavals in Rio, Recife, Salvador, Sao Paulo and other cities...that generate nearly $700 million.
Many natives escape the city...to avoid the crowds, noise and nuisances.
ALSO: The recent deaths of 238 young adults in a Santa Maria disco fire clouds this year's carnaval.