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Carnival 2011

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Carnival Season for 2011 is nearing its end. All over the world, celebrations are held as a final party before the fasting of Lent, as a way to usher out the winter and welcome spring. Across Europe and the Americas, parades and festivals have been taking place for nearly a month, culminating in the largest, most famous party of all: the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The festivities in Rio continue until tomorrow, March 8th. Gathered below are images from the past several weeks of carnivals around the globe. [52 photos]

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A Unidos da Tijuca samba school dancer performs during a carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, early Monday March 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
A Unidos da Tijuca samba school dancer performs during a carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, early Monday March 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana)
A worker prepares a carnival float at Unidos da Tijuca Samba School in Rio de Janeiro March 1, 2011. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
Dancers prepare at backstage before a drag queen competition during carnival festivities in Las Palmas on the Spanish Canary Island of Gran Canaria, late March 4, 2011. (REUTERS/Borja Suarez) #
A worker prepares a carnival float at Salgueiro Samba School in Rio de Janeiro March 1, 2011. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
Naomi Cabrera Pulido, wearing a creation called "A hundred years of history" by Spanish designer Leo Martinez, reacts after being crowned queen in the annual carnival queen election gala at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, on the Spanish Canary Island of Tenerife, March 2, 2011. (REUTERS/Santiago Ferrero) #
A dog dressed in costume parades through the French Quarter during the Krewe of Barkus Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, Sunday, Feb. 27, 2011. The parade of dogs and their owners, a twist on the Krewe of Bacchus, benefits animal welfare organizations. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert) #
An entertainer dressed as a harlequin performs during a parade at the Barranquilla's carnival in Colombia March 5, 2011. (REUTERS/Jose Miguel Gomez) #
Carnival masks in the likeness of Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi sit on a table at a mask making factory in Sao Goncalo, Rio de Janeiro state, Brazil, Friday Feb. 18, 2011. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) #
A woman dances amid orange smoke during the "Bloco da Lama", or Mud Block carnival group parade in Paraty, Brazil, Saturday, March 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #
Covered by mud, a man gestures as he parades at a mud party during Carnival celebrations in Paraty, Brazil, Saturday, March 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #
A parade goer dances during the 2011 Sydney Gay & Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade on March 5, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images) #
Drag queens run on Sydney's iconic Bondi Beach during the Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras drag race March 4, 2011. (REUTERS/Tim Wimborne ) #
Dancers perform on a float during the 34th annual Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras Parade in Sydney on March 5, 2011. Hundreds of thousands lined Oxford Street in Sydney on March 5 for the colourful and irreverent Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade, which this year was set to highlight marriage equality. (GREG WOOD/AFP/Getty Images) #
Dancers perform during carnival celebrations in Oruro, western Bolivia, Saturday, March 5, 2011. (AP Photo/Juan Karita) #
A mock plane flies toward a parade float, to set on fire the King of Carnival in the village of Orchomenos in central Greece on March 6, 2011.The burning of carnival's King marks the end of the Carnival season and the start of the 40 days of lent until the Orthodox Easter. (LOUISA GOULIAMAKI/AFP/Getty Images) #
A reveller of Vai-Vai samba school dances atop a float during the opening night of parades at the Sambadrome, as part of Carnival celebrations in Sao Paulo early on March 5, 2011. Brazil's Carnival kicked off on the eve with millions of people taking to the streets of the northeastern city of Salvador de Bahia to dance and party, effectively putting the nation on a week-long hiatus. (MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images) #
Revelers in costumes attend a carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Friday March 4, 2011. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #
Revellers wear masks during the traditional Buso Carnival in Mohacs, southern Hungary March 6, 2011. At the Buso Carnival, which lasts for six days, locals bury the winter and party before the start of lent. According to legend, the masks helped locals scare away the Turks in the 16th century. (REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo) #
Silvia Bianchetti performs the traditional "Flight of the Angel", a centuries-old ritual which marks the official beginning of Venice's Carnival celebrations, hanging from a cable in St. Mark's square, Venice, Italy, Sunday Feb, 27, 2011. (AP Photo/Luigi Costantini) #
Rasta performs at the finals of the annual International Soca Monarch at Hasely Crawford Stadium in Port of Spain March 5, 2011. The competition is held every Carnival Friday, and participants compete for one of two titles, "International Soca Monarch" or "International Groovy Soca Monarch". The Soca music genre is native to Trinidad and Tobago. (REUTERS/Andrea De Silva) #
A reveller waits for the start of the annual carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome March 6, 2011. (REUTERS/Ricardo Moraes) #
A girl cracks a whip practicing for her group's performance at a park along the waterfront - the parade staging area - as Haitians participate in the first day of the Port-au-Prince Carnival celebration, March 6, 2011 in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Last year's celebration was canceled due to the devastating January 12 earthquake. (Allison Shelley/Getty Images) #
A girl has makeup applied during carnival celebrations in Galapa, Colombia, Sunday March 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Fernando Vergara) #
Haitians participate in the first carnival after last year's January 12 earthquake March 6, 2011 in Puerto Principe, Haiti. (HECTOR RETAMAL/AFP/Getty Images) #
A masked reveler performs during the National Carnival celebrations in Jacmel, a small port city southeast of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Sunday Feb 27, 2011. Jacmel's carnival is known for its papier-mache masks representing animals, world figures or local politicians. (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa) #
People take part in a parade of the 127th Nice carnival, on February 22, 2010 in Nice, southeastern France. The 127th edition of the Nice's Carnival, celebrating the "Mediterranean King", will run until March 8, 2011. (VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images) #
Revelers join in the Ceu na Terra or Heaven on Earth street parade in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Saturday Feb. 26, 2011. Hundreds walk along a yellow tramcar that transports the Carnival orchestra in the historic Santa Teresa neighborhood. The blocos or free street parades usher in Brazil's Carnival which runs March 4-8 this year. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) #
Members of the Diablada Artistica Urus fraternity, dance during the Carnival of Oruro, in this Bolivian city some 230 Km south of La Paz, on March 5, 2011. The carnival of Oruro is one of the most famous festivities in South America - second only to that of Rio de Janeiro - and considered by UNESCO as one of mankind's Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. (AIZAR RALDES/AFP/Getty Images) #
Children dressed as devils wait at the Malecon (seaside boulevard) to take part in the last day of the annual national carnival in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic on March 6, 2011. (REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz) #
The King of the Nice Carnival 2011's float parades during the 127th edition of the Nice Carnival, Saturday, Feb. 19, 2011, in Nice, southern France. (AP Photo/ Lionel Cironneau) #
A contestant gets the final touches backstage before the start of Las Palmas' Carnival Queen ceremony in Las Palmas, Spanish Canary Island of Gran Canaria, February 25, 2011. (REUTERS/Borja Suarez) #
A drummer performs during the parade of Mocidade Alegre samba school in Sao Paulo, Brazil, Sunday, March 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Andre Penner) #
Revellers of the Sao Clemente samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome March 6, 2011. (REUTERS/Sergio Moraes) #
Revellers participate in the traditional carnival group known as Maracatu in the town of Engenho Cumba, at the state of Pernambuco, Brazil on March 6, 2011. (REUTERS/Marcos Michel) #
Sao Clemente samba school dancers perform during carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday March 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) #
Children revellers of Nene de Vila Matilde samba school get ready at a concentration area before the start of the second night of Carnival parades at the Sambadrome, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, late on March 5, 2011. (MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images) #
Imperatriz Leopoldinense dancers perform during their carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Sunday March 6, 2011. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) #
Revellers of the Sao Clemente samba school participate in the annual carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome March 6, 2011. (REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino) #
A reveller from the Aguia de Ouro samba school dances during the second night of Carnival parades at the Sambadrome in Sao Paulo early on March 6, 2011. (MAURICIO LIMA/AFP/Getty Images) #
Revellers of the Unidos da Tijuca samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome March 6, 2011. (REUTERS/Ueslei Marcelino) #
Dancers of Uniao da Ilha samba school parade on a float during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, March 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #
Revelers of the Grande Rio samba school participate in the second night of the annual Carnival parade in Rio's Sambadrome on March 7, 2011. (REUTERS/Sergio Moraes) #
Grande Rio samba school members performs while parading during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) #
Brazilian model Gisele Bundchen dances on a Vila Isabel samba school float during carnival celebrations in the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, early Monday March 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #
A float from the Uniao da Ilha samba school parades through the Sambadrome during carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday March 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #
Mocidade Independente samba school dancers perform while parading through the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on Tuesday March 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) #
A Grande Rio samba school dancer performs while parading through the Sambadrome, Tuesday March 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) #
Members of Salgueiro samba school parade on a float during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Tuesday, March 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #
A member of Salgueiro samba school performs at the Sambadrome on March 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd) #
A musician of Uniao da Ilha samba school performs while parading at the Sambadrome on Monday, March 7, 2011. (AP Photo/Silvia Izquierdo) #
A float from the Mocidade Independente samba school parades through the Sambadrome during carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro on March 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) #
A Porto da Pedra samba school dancer blows a kiss from the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on Tuesday March 8, 2011. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana) #

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