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The Globe and Mail

Carnival season kicks off around the world

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Performers from the Unidos de Vila Isabel samba school parade during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Rio de Janeiro's samba schools vied for the title of the year's best in an over-the-top, all-night-long Carnival parade at the city's iconic Sambadrome.

Hassan Ammar/AP

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Revellers from Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school participate during the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, February 12, 2013.

PILAR OLIVARES/REUTERS

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Revellers from Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school participate on the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, February 12, 2013.

PILAR OLIVARES/REUTERS

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Revellers from the Vila Isabel samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome February 12, 2013.

SERGIO MORAES/REUTERS

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Revellers from the Vila Isabel samba school participate in the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome February 12, 2013.

SERGIO MORAES/REUTERS

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Drum queen Sabrina Sato from the Unidos de Vila Isabel samba school parades during Carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013.

Felipe Dana/AP

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Performers from the Unidos de Vila Isabel samba school parade during Carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013.

Silvia Izquierdo/AP

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A group of young people dressed as 'Gilles of Binche', arrive to pick up their jubilee medals at the City Hall on the Grand Place, during the Carnival of Binche, in Binche, Belgium, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013.

Geert Vanden Wijngaert/AP

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Performers from the Unidos de Vila Isabel samba school parade during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013.

Hassan Ammar/AP

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Performers from the Unidos de Vila Isabel samba school parade during Carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013.

Hassan Ammar/AP

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Carnival revellers dressed as "Peliqueiros" run through a street in Spain's northwestern village of Laza February 12, 2013. "Peliqueiros", or ancient tax collectors, pursued villagers through the streets ringing their cowbells and hitting villagers with their sticks.

MIGUEL VIDAL/REUTERS

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A worker carries the head of a giant figure of German Chancellor Angela Merkel during preparations for the carnival parade in Nice February 12, 2013. The 129th Carnival of Nice will start on February 15 to March 6 and will celebrate the “King of the Five Continents.”

ERIC GAILLARD/REUTERS

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A reveller of the Sao Clemente samba school participates on the second night of the annual carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, February 11, 2013.

SERGIO MORAES/REUTERS

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Revellers of Sao Clemente samba school participate on the second night of the annual Carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, February 11, 2013.

PILAR OLIVARES/REUTERS

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A reveller from the Mangueira samba school participates during the annual carnival parade in Rio de Janeiro's Sambadrome, February 11, 2013.

SERGIO MORAES/REUTERS

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