Carnival Around the World

Carnival is celebrated all around the world in Venice, the US, Panama and Brazil -- just a few of the places we highlighted.

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Photo By: Reuters/Nikola Solic, © Nikola Solic / Reuters

Photo By: Reuters/Marco Bucco, © STRINGER Italy / Reuters

Photo By: Reuters/Marco Bucco, © STRINGER Italy / Reuters

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Photo By: Reuters, © Reuters Photographer / Reuter

Venice Carnival

Masked participants stand in St. Mark’s Square during the Carnival festivities in Venice, Italy. Carnival traditionally commemorates the passing of winter, with parties, costumes and balls, in the run-up to the Christian observation of Lent.

Sail on the Rio Canareggio

Boats carrying Carnival participants sail on the Rio Canareggio during a boat parade in Venice, Italy.

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Revelers beg for beads to be tossed during Mardi Gras in New Orleans. The annual Mardi Gras celebration ends at midnight, when the Catholic Lenten season begins on Ash Wednesday and ends on Easter Sunday.

Carnival in Croatia

Bellmen ring their bells to chase evil spirits of winter away at the International Carnival Parade in Croatia's Adriatic port city of Rijeka.

Satire on Parade

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi is depicted as a sultan on a float  during a Carnival parade in Viareggio, Italy. This version of Carnival is characterized by political and religious satire.

Carnival with a Chinese Twist

A red dragon and Chinese masks are seen on a float during a Carnival parade in Viareggio, Italy.

Carnival in Rio

A reveler on one of the Salgueiro samba school's floats participates in the first night of the Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro.

Samba at Carnival

A member of the Mocidade samba school participates in the second night of the Carnival parade in the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro.

Carnival in Greece

Carnival participants perform at Athens' suburb of Moschato during a parade marking Carnival celebrations. Many towns throughout Greece stage festivities attended by thousands of people with celebrations peaking on March 17.

Carnival in Panama

A fire-eater performs in Panama City, Panama. Panama is one of several Latin American countries, such as Brazil, that celebrate Carnival -- the pre-Lenten festival that mixes Catholic and -pagan rituals.

Carnival Fun for All

Little Manuel Aguilar tries to borrow local Maria Pascual's headwear during Panama's Carnival celebration. Panamanians closed their offices to enjoy a 4-day Carnival spree.