Agence France-PresseFebruary 8, 2013 12:15
Under a shower of confetti, portly King Momo on Friday officially kicked off Rio's famed Carnival, a five-day extravaganza that will climax in spectacular weekend parades of top samba schools.
Milton Rodrigues da Silva, the event's symbol of overweight excess, symbolically received a giant key to the city from Rio Mayor Eduardo Paes.
"The time has come to hand over my duties to magnificent King Momo so that the city may have fun under his rule," said Paes, wearing a white panama hat and a collar of blue flowers. "Let there be peace and joy."