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March 5, 2014

Carnival and Mardi Gras 2014

Pre-Lenten celebrations around the globe, including Carnival and a rain soaked Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans, wrapped up yesterday before the marking of Ash Wednesday today. Historians say the tradition dates back to Roman times, when the newly converted Christians retained vestiges of their pagan festival, "Lupercalia," as a period of celebration before the penance during the 40 days of Lent. --Lloyd Young (39 photos total)

A dressed-up participant posing during the Carnival of Uruguay's opening parade in Montevideo, Uruguay on Jan. 25. At least 70,000 people attended the event, considered the longest in the world. (Sandro Pereyra/EPA)

A reveler from the Vila Isabel samba school participates in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, on March 4. (Ricardo Moraes/Reuters) #

A performer from the Academicos do Grande Rio samba school parades during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 2. (Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press) #

A performer from the Vila Isabel samba school parades during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 4. Brazil's Carnival is maintaining its frenetic pace, with hundreds of roving parties taking over Rio de Janeiro's streets and famed samba school parades heading into their final night. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press) #

Revelers of the Mangueira samba school perform during the first night of carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 3. (Tasso Marcelo/AFP/Getty Images) #

Samba school Uni,, o da Ilha do Governador performs at the Sambodromo during the carnival of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 3. (Marcelo Say„o/EPA) #

Members of Unidos da Tijuca Samba School during their parade at 2014 Brazilian Carnival at Sapucai Sambadrome on March 3 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Rio's two nights of Carnival parades began on March 2 in a burst of fireworks and to the cheers of thousands of tourists and locals who have previously enjoyed street celebrations (known as "blocos de rua") all around the city. (Buda Mendes/Getty Images) #

Revelers perform during the Carnival parade in Barranquilla, Colombia on March 3. Barranquilla's Carnival, a tradition created by locals at the end of the 19th century, is a parody to celebrations held by European immigrants and aristocracy. This Carnival was declared a "Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity" by the UNESCO in 2003. ( #

Queen of the 2013 Santa Cruz carnival Amanda Perdomo performs on Feb. 26 in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on the Canary island of Tenerife, Spain. The Carnival of Santa Cruz de Tenerife brings every year thousands of revelers. Santa Cruz is the closest European equivalent to the Brazilian Carnival from Rio Janeiro. (Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images) #

Carnival revelers ride down the Schiltach stream atop their float during the 'Bach na fahre' (Race down the stream) raft contest on Rose Monday in the southwest German Black Forest town of Schramberg on March 3. Contestants have to ride down the little Schiltach stream on their self-made rafts in this traditional carnival race held on Rose Monday. (Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters) #

Children wearing masks rest inside a house during Bele Poklade carnival celebrations in the village of Lozovik, some 100 km (62 miles) from the capital Belgrade on March 2. Bele Poklade has its roots in old pagan customs and is marked annually seven weeks before Easter. Children walk through the village to collect eggs, and at the end they jump over a fire to banish evil demons. (Marko Djurica/Reuters) #

A reveler acts as a sailor at the Belmont Exotic Stylish Sailors' event in the annual Carnival festival at the Queen's Park Savannah, in Port-of-Spain, on March 4. (Andrea De Silva/Reuters) #

A reveler dressed as a character from the movie Avatar poses for a photo at the 'Ceu na Terra' block party during Carnival celebration in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 1. Rio de Janeiro's over-the-top Carnival is the highlight of the year for many local residents. Hundreds of thousands of merrymakers will take to Rio's streets in the nearly 500 open-air "bloco" parties. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press) #

A member of the Carnival street theater group "Murga Cachengue y Sudor" applies make-up as the group gathers at a public square before going to a comparsa parade in Buenos Aires on March 4. (Marcos Brindicci/Reuters) #

This year's Rex, King of Carnival, Jack Laborde, parades down St. Charles Avenue on Mardi Gras in New Orleans, La., on March 4. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters) #

Members of the Krew of Mondo Kayo Social Marching Club parde Mardi Gras day in the rain on March 4 in New Orleans, La. Fat Tuesday, the traditional celebration on the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent, is marked in New Orleans with parades and marches through many neighborhoods in the city. (Sean Gardner/Getty Images) #

A lone parade-goer waves amongst empty ladders on St. Charles Ave. during Mardi Gras day in New Orleans on March 4. Rain and unusually cold temperatures kept most of the normally massive and festive crowds away. (Gerald Herbert/Associated Press) #

Revelers yell for beads from balconies in the rain during Mardi Gras festivities in the French Quarter in New Orleans on March 4. (Gerald Herbert/Associated Press) #

Members of the Mondo Kayo Social and Marching Club parade down St. Charles Avenue on Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans, La., on March 4. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters) #

The "King" float parades during the Nice Carnival on Feb. 25 in Nice, southeastern France. The theme of this year's carnival, running from Feb. 14 until March 4, 2014, is the "King of Gastronomy". (Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images) #

Revelers known as 'Los Indianos', throw talcum powder over each other during carnival in Santa Cruz de la Palma in the Canary islands, Spain, on March 3. 'Los 'Indianos' represent the return of emigrants from the Americas, who returned to the island wealthier. (Andres Gutierrez/Associated Press) #

Revelers from the Unidos da Tijuca samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, on March 4. (Pilar Olivares/Reuters) #

Revelers from the Salgueiro samba school perform during the first night of carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on March 3. (Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images) #

Performers from the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school pretend to play soccer as they hang on the wall of a float during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, on March 4. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press) #

Revelers of the Uniao da Ilha samba school perform during the second night of carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 3. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images) #

People dressed in costumes as 'Les Gilles de Binche' take part in a procession during the carnival in the streets of Binche, on March 4. The Binche Carnival tradition is one of the most ancient. It is representative of the Wallonia region and was inscribed in 2008 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. (Eric Lalmand/AFP/Getty Images) #

Revelers march outside of the Sambodromo on March 3 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Carnival is the grandest holiday in Brazil, annually drawing millions in raucous celebrations. (Mario Tama/Getty Images) #

Floats roll past screaming crowds during the Krewe of Bacchus Parade in New Orleans, La., on March 2. The city's Mardi Gras celebration will continue through the weekend and culminates with Fat Tuesday. (Dan Anderson/EPA) #

Float builder Jacques Tilly carries the head of a figure depicting Russian President Vladimir Putin in a shopping cart in Duesseldorf, Germany on March 4. The figure was on display at the Rose Monday (Rosenmontag) Parade on March 3 with hundreds of thousands of visitors. (Jan-Philipp Strobel/EPA) #

A girl cools off in an inflatable swimming pool on the beach in La Guaira, Venezuela, on March 3. Some Venezuelans are taking time off for carnival despite two weeks of nation-wide opposition protests. (Rodrigo Abd/Associated Press) #

A boy looks as men dressed as "Diablos de Luzon" (Luzon Devils) pose for a portrait during carnival celebrations in the Spanish village of Luzon on March 1. The "Diablos" cover themselves in a mixture of soot and oil and adorn their heads with black stained bull horns as they parade throughout the village with cowbells clanging around their waist to expel the evil spirits. To make their appearance even more fearsome the devils often carry fake teeth made out of raw potatoes. They dance around Luzon and smear their black grease on revelers faces. The only people free from the attack of the "Diablos" are those who dress up as "Mascaritas". They are characters dressed in traditional women clothing with their faces covered with a white cloth. To the beat of traditional music the "Diablos" and the "Mascaritas" parade throughout the village in the afternoon in this carnival tradition that is thought to have pre-Christian origins. (Susana Vera/Reuters) #

Women dressed in costumes for "Weiberfastnacht" (Women's Carnival) walk past a shop of Louis Vuitton in Cologne on Feb. 27. Women's Carnival marks the start of a week of street festivals, the highlight of the event being "Rosenmontag" (Rose Monday), the final day of the carnival where mass processions are held. (Ina Fassbender/Reuters) #

Carnival revelers dressed as "Peliqueiros" run through a street in Spain's northwestern village of Laza on March 4. "Peliqueiros", or ancient tax collectors, pursued villagers through the streets ringing their cowbells and hitting villagers with their sticks. (Miguel Vidal/Reuters) #

Revelers perform during the National carnival parade in Gonaives, some 150 km from Port au Prince on March 3 in Haiti. (Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty Images) #

Revelers march in the first street parade of the 2014 Carnival season through the historic Afro-Brazilian port district during the Circuito da Liga Portuaria parade on Feb. 1 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Carnival officially begins on Feb. 28 but pre-festivities have already begun. The parade marched through a section of the port district where a market for slaves once stood and the remains of a mass slave cemetery still exist. The area contains centuries of history and remains a vibrant part of Afro-Brazilian identity; it was once known as Little Africa. Ahead of the 2014 World Cup and Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Rio has started a multi-billion dollar urban renewal program of the port district. The Porto Maravilha project is expected to displace around 1,000 local residents. (Mario Tama/Getty Images) #

A costumed reveler takes part in an annual carnival in central Athens, Feb. 23. Carnival celebrations in Greece will reach a peak over the coming weekend ahead of the beginning of Lent on March 3. (Kostas Tsironis/Associated Press) #

A dancer performs during the juniro carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on March 4. The parade is competed by 16 Junior samba schools organized with children and teenagers up to 18 years old. (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images) #

A woman sits in front of a pile of discarded carnival costumes after carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 4. The costumes on display at the all-night parade that ended early Tuesday have made Riòs Carnival celebration the most famous in the world. But the handmade confections often have a short shelf life. As the tens of thousands of revelers stream out of the Sambadrome, a surprising number of them immediately abandon their costumes. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press) #

A reveler parades through the French Quarter on Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans, La., on March 4. (Jonathan Bachman/Reuters) #
 
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