Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Put on your mask and start begging for beads -- it's time for Mardi Gras. Take a look at how New Orleans and hundreds of people celebrate this festive occasion every year.

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masked, carnival, venice, italy
Venice Carnival

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. 960 1280

Franco Origlia/Getty Images  

Sail on the Rio Canareggio

Sail on the Rio Canareggio

Boats carrying Carnival participants sail on the Rio Canareggio during a boat parade in Venice, Italy. 960 1280

Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images  

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Revelers beg for beads to be tossed from a balcony in the French Quarter 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. 960 1280

Pat Semansky  

Carnival in Croatia

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. 960 1280

Reuters/Nikola Solic  

Satire on Parade

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. 960 1280

Reuters/Marco Bucco  

Carnival with a Chinese Twist

Carnival with a Chinese Twist

A red dragon and Chinese masks are seen on a float during a Carnival parade in Viareggio, Italy. 960 1280

Reuters/Marco Bucco  

Carnival in Rio

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. 960 1280

Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images  

Samba at Carnival

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. 960 1280

Reuters/Sergio Moraes  

Carnival in Greece

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. 960 1280

Reuters  

Carnival in Panama

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. 960 1280

Reuters/Alberto Lowe  

Carnival Fun for All

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. 960 1280

Reuters  

Photos

Venice Carnival

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. 960 1280

Franco Origlia/Getty Images  

Sail on the Rio Canareggio

Sail on the Rio Canareggio

Boats carrying Carnival participants sail on the Rio Canareggio during a boat parade in Venice, Italy. 960 1280

Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images  

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Mardi Gras in New Orleans

Revelers beg for beads to be tossed from a balcony in the French Quarter 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. 960 1280

Pat Semansky  

Carnival in Croatia

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. 960 1280

Reuters/Nikola Solic  

Satire on Parade

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. 960 1280

Reuters/Marco Bucco  

Carnival with a Chinese Twist

Carnival with a Chinese Twist

A red dragon and Chinese masks are seen on a float during a Carnival parade in Viareggio, Italy. 960 1280

Reuters/Marco Bucco  

Carnival in Rio

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. 960 1280

Christophe Simon/AFP/Getty Images  

Samba at Carnival

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. 960 1280

Reuters/Sergio Moraes  

Carnival in Greece

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. 960 1280

Reuters  

Carnival in Panama

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. 960 1280

Reuters/Alberto Lowe  

Carnival Fun for All

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. 960 1280

Reuters