The Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is the largest and most famous of the celebrations. (Reuters: Ricardo Moraes)
Bright costumes, street dancing and celebrations are taking place across Europe and the Americas as the carnival season draws to a colourful close.
These pre-Lent festivals, often a blend of local pagan and Catholic traditions, celebrate the beginning of spring.
In New Orleans, Mardi Gras marks the final day of the season in a city and this year marked its 300th anniversary.
Revellers throw beads at the New Orleans Mardi Gras to celebrate the last day of carnival festivities. (Reuters: Sean Gardner)
Families camped out from early morning to catch beads and stuffed animals thrown from float riders.
Revellers took to the streets in elaborate or funny costumes evoking Marie Antoinette, Donald Trump and glamorous vampires.
And amused bystanders took in the chaotic scene from lawn chairs.
The largest and most famous — the Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil — drew tens of thousands but also sparked controversy.
In a performance meant to pay tribute to African culture, the Salgueir samba school used blackface makeup in the Carnival parade, sparking social media criticism and debate about depictions of race in Brazil.
A performance in which dancers wore black face makeup sparked controversy. (Reuters: Ricardo Moraes)
In Spain, people dressed as Momotxorros — half bull, half man — wearing sheepskins splattered with blood.
In Spain, many dressed as Momotxorros, a legendary a half bull, half man figure. (Reuters: Vincent West)
While in Portugal, people took pictures by shark statues of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Russian President Vladimir Putin during Carnival celebrations in Torres Vedras.
The Torres Vedras Carnival is known for its satirical humour that pokes fun at politicians and public figures.
Celebrations in Haiti despite hardship
Brightly coloured handmade costumes and body paint make for a lively carnival parade. (Source: AP/Dieu Nalio Chery)
Thousands of Haitians shrugged off their daily struggles to celebrate Carnival in Port-au-Prince.
Wearing colourful costumes, Haitians danced through the street.
Thousands of Haitians have celebrated Carnival in the face of adversity. (Source: AP/Dieu Nalio Chery)
Port-au-Prince’s Carnival celebrations culminate on Shrove Tuesday, the last day of festivities before many Christians begin a period of fasting in the lead-up to Easter.
Carnival in Haiti goes back to 1804 and not even the country’s devastating 2010 earthquake was enough to cancel celebrations.
Revellers perform during a Carnival parade to celebrate Easter in Haiti. (Source: AP/Dieu Nalio Chery)
However, previous Carnivals have been marred by political instability, violence and tragedy.
In 2015, 16 people died during a stampede.
After Carnival, Haitians will have to wrestle with under-development, with the majority of the population living below the poverty line.
Dancers wearing colourful costumes paraded through the streets for Haiti’s Carnival. (Source: AP/Dieu Nalio Chery)
–Top Twitter To Follow: