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Exuberance and style reign on final day of Brazilian Carnival (VIDEO, PHOTOS)

Rio de Janeiro bids farewell to the Carnival of 2012, and the last day of week-long celebrations saw it all - captivating samba beats, superb percussionists, imaginative choreography and gorgeous samba ladies in colorful feathers.

­Six samba schools paraded in front of thousands in the Sambadrome, which runs four entire nights. They are part of an official competition, split into seven divisions where a sole winning school is chosen. The criteria include costume, flow, theme, and band music quality and performance.

Some samba schools also hold street parties in their neighborhoods, through which they parade along with their followers.

Unidos da Tijuca came out on top and was named the winner of Rio's Carnival of 2012.

Revellers from the Unidos da Tijuca samba school (REUTERS / Sergio Moraes)
Revellers from the Unidos da Tijuca samba school (REUTERS / Sergio Moraes)
Revellers from the Mangueira samba school (REUTERS / Nacho Doce)
Revellers from the Mangueira samba school (REUTERS / Nacho Doce)
Revellers from the Grande Rio samba school (REUTERS / Sergio Moraes)
Revellers from the Grande Rio samba school (REUTERS / Sergio Moraes)
Revellers from the Grande Rio samba school (REUTERS / Ricardo Moraes)
Revellers from the Grande Rio samba school (REUTERS / Ricardo Moraes)
Revellers from the Unidos da Tijuca samba school (REUTERS / Sergio Moraes)
Revellers from the Unidos da Tijuca samba school (REUTERS / Sergio Moraes)
Revellers from the Unidos da Tijuca samba school (REUTERS / Ricardo Moraes)
Revellers from the Unidos da Tijuca samba school (REUTERS / Ricardo Moraes)
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