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Millions Revel in Carnival Celebrations Worldwide

Members of the samba group Uniao da Ilha perform at the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro, in the Sambodromo. Samba groups in Brazilian neighborhoods work year round to assemble costumes as well as choreograph parade routines for Carnival.

Members of a troupe dance during a parade in the Panama City carnival in Panama.

Carnival celebrations worldwide culminate on Mardi Gras, the final day before Lent.

Alejandro Bolivar / EFE

Revelers pose during a street carnival in Santa Cruz de la Palma, in the Canary Islands on Feb. 16. Carnival in the Canary Islands lasts for over a month, with contests in between parades.

Desiree Martin / AFP

Members of the samba group Uniao da Ilha perform at the Carnival of Rio de Janeiro, in the Sambodromo. Samba groups in Brazilian neighborhoods work year round to assemble costumes as well as choreograph parade routines for Carnival.

Luiz Eduardo Perez / EFE

Hugo Belleri, 3,the youngest of the Gilles of Binche marchers makes his way to the parade route.The Binche Carnival, a UNESCO World Heritage event, is the biggest and the liveliest annual event in Belgium. Nearly a thousand people wearing a red, yellow and black medieval costume hung with bells and decorated with fluffy lace at the neck, wrists and ankles.

Yves Herman / X00380

Revelers cheer for beads though clouds of theatrical smoke from a float during the Krewe of Proteus Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, La.

Gerald Herbert / AP

Drum queen Raissa Machado representing the Viradouro samba school, blows a kiss during the Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro.

Silvia Izquierdo / AP

Bolivian President Evo Morales dances as he takes part in Carnival celebrations in his hometown of Orinoca.

Handout / X80001

A carnival float with a paper-mache caricature of Russia's President Vladimir Putin drives past revelers during the traditional Rose Monday carnival parade in the western German city of Dusseldorf. The Rose Monday parades in Cologne, Mainz and Dusseldorf are the highlight of the German street carnival season.

Ina Fassbender / X00970

A reveler wearing a colorful costume drinks a beverage as he watches a carnival parade pass by from a window in Roermond, The Netherlands.

Marcel Van Hoorn / ANP

Parade goers greet Beija Flor samba school performers as they file past during Carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro.

Silvia Izquierdo / AP

A person dressed as Ziripot, a traditional figure stuffed with straw, walks in front of a person dressed as Miel Otxin, seen behind with outstretched arms, alongside the Txatxos during carnival celebrations in the Navarran village of Lantz in France. The Ziripot's role as the strongest person in the village is to defeat the evil bandit Miel Otxin, while the Txatxos represent the population of Lanz.

Vincent West / X00957

Revelers participate in the traditional "battle of the oranges" held during the Carnival in Ivrea, near Turin, Italy. The event marks the people's rebellion against tyrannical lords who ruled the town in the Middle Ages. Revelers parading on floats represent guards of the tyrant, while those on foot the townsfolk.

Olivier Morin / AFP

A reveler on stilts performs during the first day of the National Carnival Parade in Port-au-Prince, Haiti.

Hector Retamal / AFP