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Patrick Seeger

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A last blast before the observance of Lent, Carnival has evolved in many parts of the world with Christian traditions to be the biggest party of the year. Traditions vary from country to country, and even from region to region, but most places celebrate with a parade filled with masks, music, and ecstatic revelers. The world's biggest party happens in Rio de Janeiro, where millions fill the streets as the parade enters the Sambadrome. Collected here are pictures of Carnival in many forms as celebrated in various parts of Europe, Latin America, and North America. -- Lane Turner (41 photos total)
A performer from the Beija Flor samba school parades during Carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on Feb. 20, 2012. Millions watched the sequin-clad samba dancers at Rio de Janeiro's iconic Carnival parade. (Silvia Izquierdo/Associated Press)

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BROKEN APART
BROKEN APART: People walked on a destroyed road in La Paz, Bolivia, Monday. Heavy rains caused a hilltop to collapse in a poor neighborhood of the Bolivian capital Sunday, cracking roads, destroying at least 400 homes and burying people’s belongings under mud and debris. (David Mercado/Reuters)

ON GADHAFI
ON GADHAFI: U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton addressed the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva Monday. She said Libyan leader Col. Moammar Gadhafi and his allies have ‘lost the legitimacy to govern’ by reportedly executing soldiers who refused to turn their guns on civilians. (Valentin Flauraud/Reuters)

YEMEN UPHEAVAL
YEMEN UPHEAVAL: Protesters demanded the resignation of Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh in San’a, Yemen, Monday. Mr. Saleh’s offer to form a unity government with opponents who want him out of office—provided protests against him stop—was swiftly rejected. (Muhammed Muheisen/Associated Press)

CALLING OUT
CALLING OUT: A Bahraini Shi’ite woman shouted antigovernment slogans at the gate of Parliament in the Bahraini capital, Manama, Monday. Antigovernment protesters temporarily blocked access to the building and amassed outside the state-owned broadcaster. (Hamad I Mohammed/Reuters)

HARD AT WORK
HARD AT WORK: Children took the Indian Certificate of Secondary Education examination in Calcutta, India, Monday. Indian Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee presented a budget Monday for the fiscal year starting April 1, 2011, and announced a 24% increase in funding for education. (Bikas Das/Associated Press)

NOT HOME
NOT HOME: African migrants stood outside an immigration center in Valletta, Malta, Monday. (Gregorio Borgia/Associated Press)

TAKING A REST
TAKING A REST: Mohammad Hanif, 80, held his two-year-old grandson, Wasif, as he sat on a railway line near their home in a Karachi, Pakistan, slum. (Akhtar Soomro/Reuters)

DOWN TO THE RIVER
DOWN TO THE RIVER: One of the Chilean miners rescued from last year’s mine collapse was baptized in the Jordan River at the Yardenit baptism site in northern Israel Monday. Israel’s tourism ministry sponsored the eight-day trip. (Sebastian Scheiner/Associated Press)

SECOND PLACE
SECOND PLACE: Justyna Kowalczyk of Poland sat on the snow after placing second in the women’s 10-kilometer individual cross-country skiing competition at the Nordic Skiing World Championships in Oslo, Norway, Monday. (Patrick Seeger/DPA/Zuma Press)

PARADE TRAGEDY
PARADE TRAGEDY: Mourners attended the funeral Monday of 16 people killed during a parade in Bandeira do Sul in southeastern Brazil. The victims were electrocuted when a power line fell atop a packed pre-Carnival street parade Sunday, police said. (Zuma Press)

CROPPING UP
CROPPING UP: A farmer checked wheat seedlings in a snow-covered field in Chenzhuang village in China’s Shandong Province Monday. Widespread rain and snow in northern China over the weekend brought relief to drought-stricken wheat-producing areas in China, official media said. (Zhang Zhenxiang/Xinhua/Zuma Press)

TAKING SHELTER
TAKING SHELTER: Smoke rose from the chimneys of tents at a refugee camp during a snowstorm in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday. (Musadeq Sadeq/Associated Press)

DESTROYING DESTROYERS
DESTROYING DESTROYERS: A man looked at land mines waiting to disposed of near the Western Sahara village of Tifariti Monday. (Arturo Rodriguez/Associated Press)

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With one month of the season left before the first day of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, take a look at the cold, snowy days of the last couple months.

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