Carnival 2014 Around the World

Carnival season 2014 is well underway across Europe and the Americas. These pre-Lent bacchanalian festivals have been taking place for nearly a month, ushering out the winter and welcoming in spring. The largest and most famous of all--the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil--took place this weekend. The city's 6 million residents, along with more than 900,000 tourists, crowded the streets for days of rowdy, joyous parades and extravagant processions by the city's best samba schools. Gathered here are recent images of carnivals around the world.
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1. A performer from the Imperio da Tijuca samba school parades on a float during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 2, 2014.




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2. A reveler parades in a traditional Maracatu carnival in Nazare da Mata, in the state of Pernambuco, northeastern Brazil, on March 2, 2014.




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3. A float named "Imperial Bocuse", featuring French chef Paul Bocuse parades during the Nice Carnival in Nice, France, on March 2, 2014. The theme of this year's carnival, running from February 14 until March 4, 2014, is the "King of Gastronomy".




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4. A costumed participant poses on St Mark's square during the Carnival in Venice, Italy, on February 23, 2014. The 2014 edition of the Venice carnival entitled "Wonder and fantasy nature" runs from February 15 to March 4, 2014.




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5. Rowers lift their oars in a salute ahead of the traditional regatta on the Grand Canal which officially opened the Venice Carnival on February 16, 2014 in Venice, Italy.




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6. Revelers participate in the traditional 28th Bloco da Lama (Mud block) carnival in Parati, Brazil, on March 1, 2014. The event, which was begun by two men in a playful manner in 1986, has now become a traditional carnival in which participants disguised as primitives with rags, lianas or skulls and bones, dive in the mud.




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7. Partygoers in the 28th Bloco da Lama (Mud block) carnival in Parati, Brazil, on March 1, 2014.




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8. Performers dressed as witches parade across the market square in Waldkirch, Germany, on March 1, 2014.




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9. A woman, covered in oil and soot wearing bull horns on her head and cowbells on a belt representing the devil, runs around while participating in carnival celebrations in the small village of Luzon, Spain, on March 1, 2014.




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10. A young woman carries her mask before performing in a carnival procession in the southeastern Macedonian town of Strumica, on March 1, 2014. Some 2,500 costumed people participated on the main carnival evening.




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11. Children wearing masks rest inside a house during Bele Poklade carnival celebrations in the village of Lozovik, some 100 km (62 miles) from Belgrade, Serbia, on March 2, 2014. Bele Poklade has its roots in old pagan customs and is marked annually seven weeks before Easter.




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12. A boy wearing a mask jumps over a fire during Bele Poklade carnival celebrations in Lozovik, Serbia, on March 2, 2014. 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.




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13. A reveler dressed as a devil is reflected in a puddle before he takes part in a carnival parade in Lazarim, Portugal, on March 1, 2014. People in Lazarim wear specials wooden masks made by local carpenters during the carnival festivities.




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14. Revelers parade during the "Simpatia e Quase Amor" street carnival bloco along Ipanema Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 2, 2014.




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15. A woman takes part in the annual block party known as "Ceu na Terra" or (or Sky on Earth), one of the many carnival parties to take place in the neighborhoods of Rio de Janeiro, on March 1, 2014.




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16. A man holds a bottle of sparkling wine as he drives a car at the "Ceu na Terra" block party during Carnival celebration in Rio de Janeiro, on March 1, 2014. Rio'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.




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17. A woman dressed as a character from the movie Avatar poses for a photo at the "Ceu na Terra" block party during Carnival celebration in Rio, on March 1, 2014.




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18. Daniela Solares from Bolivia walks past the camera as lightning strikes over Copacabana Beach during the "Vem Ni Mim Que Sou Facinha" street carnival bloco in Rio, on February 28, 2014.




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19. At the Sambadrome in Rio, a performer in the Mangueira samba school, during the first night of carnival parade, on March 3, 2014.




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20. Performers of the Mangueira samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio, on March 3, 2014




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21. Dancers of the Mangueira samba school, at the Sambadrome in Rio, on Monday, March 3, 2014.




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22. The Imperio da Tijuca samba school participates in the annual Carnival parade in Rio, on March 2, 2014.




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23. Performers from the Grande Rio samba school, during the first night of Carnival in Rio, on March 2, 2014.




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24. The Imperio da Tijuca samba school parade, on a float during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio, on March 2, 2014.




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25. Dancers of the Grande Rio samba school perform during at the Sambadrome in Rio, on March 2, 2014.




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26. A member of the Salgueiro samba school parades on a float in Rio, on March 3, 2014.




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27. A dancer from the Grande Rio samba school performs during the first night of Carnival, on March 2, 2014.




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28. Performers from the Beija Flor samba school, at the Sambadrome in Ri, on March 3, 2014.




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29. A member of the Grande Rio samba school performs at Rio's Sambadrome, on March 2, 2014.




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30. Members of Mangueira Samba School celebrate during their parade at 2014 Brazilian Carnival at Sapucai Sambadrome in Rio, on March 02, 2014.




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31. A dancer from the Grande Rio samba school performs during Carnival, at the Sambadrome, on March 2, 2014.




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32. Performers from the Sao Clemente samba school parade through the Sambadrome, on March 3, 2014.




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33. A dancer from the Grande Rio samba school parades on a float in Rio, on March 2, 2014.




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34. Performers from the Sao Clemente samba school parade during Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, on March 3, 2014.




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35. First Princess of the Carnival, Clara Cristina Paixao de Oliveira, performs at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on March 2, 2014.