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Revelers Celebrate Last Day of Carnival in Brazil

Revelers in Brazil have gathered to celebrate the last day of Carnival celebrations, before the start of Lent.

Authorities in Rio de Janeiro say more than 700,000 tourists have come to the city for the celebrations, which kicked off over the weekend.

The largest parades took place Sunday and Monday nights in Rio's Sambadrome where the city's top samba groups, dressed in elaborate costumes, competed against each other to put on the best show. Organized into samba schools, the groups spend all year preparing and rehearsing for Carnival.

After two nights of carnival parades, celebrations in Rio de Janeiro returned to the streets Tuesday for one last day of revelry. Celebrations are also taking place in other Brazilian cities.

Ash Wednesday is the start of Lent, which for Roman Catholics opens the 40-day period of penitence, sacrifice and reflection.

Some information for this report provided by AP and Reuters.