Christ the Redeemer floodlit against the night sky to celebrate its 80th birthday. Photo: PA
Residents of Rio de Janeiro are throwing a big party to celebrate Brazil's iconic statue, Christ the Redeemer, reaching 80 years old.
Fireworks, street festivals, concerts and exhibitions will all take place to honour one of its most famous tourist spots, and the statue itself will be illuminated during the night.
Millions of people have visited the 38-metre white statue opening its arms above Brazil's second-largest city on top of the 710-metres-high Corcovado Mountain.
The iconic statue looks down over the Corcovado Mountain. Photo: Rex
The pilgrimage site and statue, which was designed by local engineer Heitor da Silva, artist Carlos Oswald and sculpted by France's Paul Landowski, receives around 4,000 visitors a day and serves as a landmark for people trying to find their way in the city below.
Most tourists make their way up via a rack railway, and take in the amazing views over Rio's masses of houses and the Copacabana beaches during the 20-minute ride.
Tourists pose for photographs in front of the statue, choirs from all over the world come to sing here, and many young couples come to take wedding photos.
And, of course, it has huge religious significance for locals and beyond.
Father Omar Raposo, head of the pilgrimage site which was given the status of a Catholic sanctuary in 2006, said: 'He stands for life, love, hope. This monument is a very special shrine, with the horizon as its walls and the sky as its ceiling.'
And, he promised, tonight's celebration in Rio de Janeiro's Flamengo Park would be a 'big bash'.