Revelers across the globe gathered to mark the day before Ash Wednesday, which is known by several names, such as Mardi Gras, Carnival and Fat Tuesday. While parades are the most common form of celebration, a few nations indulge in some twists.
The Carnival in Ivera, Italy, includes a large battle where participants throw oranges. Some revelers in the Carnival de Binche in Belgium dress as Gilles, wearing traditional outfits accented with ostrich feathers.
With that, here are some photos that set the scene:
Revelers dance on the street during a Carnival parade in the fishing village of Peniche, Portugal on Tuesday. Mardi Gras, Carnival and Fat Tuesday are different names for the traditional celebration marking the day before Ash Wednesday and the beginning of Lent.
A reveler looks on at the Mardi Gras Day parade in rainy New Orleans, where there are many parades and marches throughout the city.
Sean Gardner/Getty Images
Men with helmets are hit by oranges during the traditional "battle of the oranges," held during the carnival in Ivrea, Italy. During the event, which marks the people's rebellion against tyrannical lords who ruled the town in the Middle Ages, revelers parading on floats represent guards of the tyrant, while those on foot are the townsfolk.
Giuseppe Cacace/AFP/Getty Images
The "King" float parades during the Nice Carnival in southeastern France. The theme of this year's carnival, running from February 14 until March 4, is the "King of Gastronomy."
Valery Hache/AFP/Getty Images
Participants, known as Gilles, wear traditional costumes and hats made of white ostrich feathers during the carnival in the streets of Binche, Belgium. The Carnival de Binche has been proclaimed a Masterpiece of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO for the past ten years.
Revelers from the Vila Isabel samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome.
A member of the Krewe of Zulu parades down St. Charles Avenue on Mardi Gras Day in New Orleans.
Participants of the Krewe of Zulu Parade hand out painted coconuts to spectators in New Orleans.
A reveler parades through the French Quarter in New Orleans.