Rio De Janeiro pre-carnival festivities
"Clown doctors" and other volunteers entertain patients and their relatives during pre-carnival festivities at the Eduardo Rabello hospital in Rio de Janeiro January 31, 2013. The Brazilian clowns are members of the "Doutores da Alegria", a non-profit organisation (NGO) that aims to cheer up sick people. According to the NGO, they conduct approximately 75,000 visits per year to hospitals in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Belo Horizonte.

Every year, around carnival time, members of the NGO Doctors of Joy dress up as 'clown doctors' to cheer up sick people in hospitals and their relatives.

It is carnival time in Brazil and the carnival capital of the world, Rio de Janeiro, is already in high spirits, anticipating the celebration from 9 February to 12 February.

During the festival, while an estimated 2 million people take to the streets in the city, at such a time, Doctors of Joy volunteers visit various hospitals to share the joy of the festival with people who are unable to share in it.

 According to the NGO, its volunteers make approximately 75,000 visits every year to hospitals in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Belo Horizonte.

The 'clown doctors' perform arts such as circus, music and poetry for patients in public hospitals and cover more than 27 thousand people.

Scroll down to see the pictures of the pre-carnival festivities from the state of Rio de Janeiro. 

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"Clown doctors" and other volunteers entertain patients and their relatives during pre-carnival festivities at the Eduardo Rabello hospital in Rio de Janeiro January 31, 2013. The Brazilian clowns are members of the "Doutores da Alegria", a non-profit organisation (NGO) that aims to cheer up sick people. According to the NGO, they conduct approximately 75,000 visits per year to hospitals in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Recife and Belo Horizonte.REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
"Clown doctors" and other volunteers entertain patients and their relatives during pre-carnival festivities at the Eduardo Rabello hospital in Rio de Janeiro January 31, 2013.REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
"Clown doctors" and other volunteers entertain patients and their relatives during pre-carnival festivities at the Eduardo Rabello hospital in Rio de Janeiro January 31, 2013.REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
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A "clown doctor" entertains patients and their relatives during pre-carnival festivities at the Eduardo Rabello hospital in Rio de Janeiro January 31, 2013.REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
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A "clown doctor" entertains patients and their relatives during pre-carnival festivities at the Eduardo Rabello hospital in Rio de Janeiro January 31, 2013.REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
"Clown doctors" prepare before the pre-carnival festivities at the Eduardo Rabello hospital in Rio de Janeiro January 31, 2013.REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
"Clown doctors" prepare before the pre-carnival festivities at the Eduardo Rabello hospital in Rio de Janeiro January 31, 2013.REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
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A "clown doctor" prepares before the pre-carnival festivities at the Eduardo Rabello hospital in Rio de Janeiro January 31, 2013.REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
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A "clown doctor" prepares before the pre-carnival festivities at the Eduardo Rabello hospital in Rio de Janeiro January 31, 2013.REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
"Clown doctors" and other volunteers entertain patients and their relatives during pre-carnival festivities at the Eduardo Rabello hospital in Rio de Janeiro January 31, 2013.REUTERS/Sergio Moraes
"Clown doctors" and other volunteers entertain patients and their relatives during pre-carnival festivities at the Eduardo Rabello hospital in Rio de Janeiro January 31, 2013.REUTERS/Sergio Moraes