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Carnival and Mardi Gras Around the World

People all over the world enjoy one big celebration leading up to Lent, the most solemn part of the Christian calendar. Lent leads into Good Friday and Easter.

But before those holy days, people like to have a good time. The celebration is called Carnival, and it finishes with one last party on Mardi Gras also known as Fat Tuesday or Shrove Tuesday.

People dress in elaborate costumes, hold all kinds of parades and even throw oranges and flour at each other. But on Ash Wednesday, the party is over. Forty days of giving up meat and other bad habits lie ahead.
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Workers hold a giant figure showing the King of Carnival during preparations for the carnival parade in Nice, France, February 11, 2016.
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Workers hold a giant figure showing the King of Carnival during preparations for the carnival parade in Nice, France, February 11, 2016.

A reveler celebrates in front of the cathedral during the start of the Women's Street Carnival in Cologne, Germany.
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A reveler celebrates in front of the cathedral during the start of the Women's Street Carnival in Cologne, Germany.

A man wearing a bird mask walks in Saint Mark's Square in Venice, Italy at the start of Carnival.
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A man wearing a bird mask walks in Saint Mark's Square in Venice, Italy at the start of Carnival.

A gondola captain dressed as a harlequin during the famous boat parade through the canals of Venice, Italy.
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A gondola captain dressed as a harlequin during the famous boat parade through the canals of Venice, Italy.

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