Grande Rio crowned samba champions of Rio's Carnival

STORY: It is the first time that the Grande Rio company has won the top prize. The school had only reached second place for four consecutive years.

The samba club won the championship title with a parade dedicated to the deity Exu, a kind of messenger bridging the gap between the human and the divine.

Among several categories, the schools are judged on their floats - both their design and technical functioning, costumes, drum section, theme and lyrics, and the overall execution - their use of the time limit and how they prevent open spaces between sections of the parade.

This year's event was pushed back from its traditional date in February to April due to an increase in COVID-19 cases as the Omicron variant spread through the country.