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Revelers Celebrate Mardi Gras

Revelers are wrapping up weeks of Carnival festivities with massive celebrations that include parades, live music and sometimes bawdy street parties.

Brazil's world-famous Carnival celebrations in Rio de Janeiro are complete with samba parades and extravagant floats.

And, in the southern U.S. city of New Orleans, Louisiana, Mardi Gras crowds will line the streets to catch beads, tokens and even painted coconuts tossed by costumed people on parade floats.

There are similar festivities in other parts of Latin America and Europe.

Mardi Gras, which is French for "Fat Tuesday," marks the end of the Carnival season and lasts until midnight.

Carnival's fun and frivolity precedes the Christian religious observance of Lent, a period of repentance and prayer, that begins Wednesday.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.