PICTURES: Revelers Go Wild At Carnivals In Brazil, Italy And Germany

carnival brazilMudwrestling in Brazil

Photo: ap

Carnivals before Lent that in some instances mark the end of winter and incorporate historical and cultural folk tales, kicked-off around the world this weekend.Italy’s Battle of Oranges is a throwback to the Middle Ages. The Busho carnival incorporates the end of the Ottoman empire in Hungary.

In fact, the carnivals of Belgium and Colombia have made UNESCO’s list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Brazil may draw the largest crowds and party harder than the rest but you should click ahead to peek at snapshots of some of the world’s best carnivals.

The Brazilian Carnival begins 46 days before Easter and parades are usually led by samba schools.

The carnival has become Brazil's most famous holiday and attracts massive crowds.

More than 3000 drummers and dancers performed at Rio's Sambadrome stadium.

The celebrations have evolved to include mud parties and mud block parades as well.

While Brazil's carnival is the best-known, Bolivia's Carnaval de Oruro has slowly gained visitors too.

The carnival ends with the enactment of two plays and is about more than just revelry.

Members of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club ride in on their float in New Orleans.

Italy's Carnival of Ivrea is famous for its battle of oranges in which people on carts battle pedestrians with oranges.

The event is supposed to mark the rebellion against tyrannical lords in the middle ages and is quite the spectacle.

In Germany, the carnival parades are held before Ash Wednesday particularly on Rose Monday.

Spectacles like the politically themed floats and dancers are the highlights of the carnival season.

The Rosemonday parade in Cologne is visited by about 1 million spectators every year.

Performers in Hungary's end-of-winter Busho Carnival row across the Danube.

The carnival dates back to the 16th century when men dressed in woolly costumes with wooden masks to scare of Turkish invaders.

The Carnival of Binche in Belgium welcomes spring and the promise of new beginnings

Court jesters called Gilles of Aalst' stomp on the ground with their clogs to cast out winter spirits

Now see a place where they don't have time for Carnival

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