Carnival 2012

Carnival Season 2012 is nearing its end. All over the world, celebrations have been held as a final pre-Lent bacchanalian festival -- 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. In Rio this weekend, millions took to the streets for days of rowdy, joyous parades and festivities, bringing the nation to a halt for its annual wild party. Nearly 800,000 Brazilian and foreign tourists were expected join Rio's six million residents in the celebrations, whose climax comes on Sunday and Monday with the city's top samba schools putting on their extravagant processions. Gathered here are recent images of carnivals around the globe. [Also, don't miss Part 2, More from Carnival 2012]

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