Mardi Gras here and there

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Performers from the Academicos do Grande Rio samba school parade during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, early Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP PhotoHassan Ammar)
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A performer from the Beija Flor samba school parades during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP PhotoFelipe Dana)
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A performer from the Sao Clemente samba school is tossed in the air during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP PhotoSilvia Izquierdo)
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A performer from the Mangueira samba school parades during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP PhotoSilvia Izquierdo)
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Performers from the Mangueira samba school parade during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. (AP PhotoHassan Ammar)
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A worker puts the final touches to giants figures depicting French President Francois Hollande, left, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel during preparations for the 129th Nice carnival parade, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013, in Nice, southeastern France. The 129th Nice Carnival runs from February 15th until March 6th and will celebrate the theme "King of the five continents" . (AP PhotoLionel Cironneau)
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Performers from the Imperatriz Leopoldinense samba school parade during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, early Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Rio de Janeiro's samba schools vied for the title of the year's best Monday in an over-the-top, all-night-long Carnival parade at the city's iconic Sambadrome.(AP PhotoHassan Ammar)
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Crowds of revelers are seen on Bourbon Street from the balcony of the Royal Sonesta Hotel during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Despite threatening skies, the Mardi Gras party carried on as thousands of costumed revelers cheered glitzy floats with make-believe monarchs in an all-out bash before Lent. Crowds were a little smaller than recent years, perhaps influenced by the forecast of rain. Still, parades went off as scheduled even as a fog settled over the riverfront and downtown areas. (AP PhotoGerald Herbert)
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Becky Moon fixes a plate of pancakes during the Shrove Tuesday pancake supper and talent show at St. John UMC. TODD BENNETTSTAFF
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Revelers grab for beads as they are tossed from the balcony of the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Despite threatening skies, the Mardi Gras party carried on as thousands of costumed revelers cheered glitzy floats with make-believe monarchs in an all-out bash before Lent. Crowds were a little smaller than recent years, perhaps influenced by the forecast of rain. Still, parades went off as scheduled even as a fog settled over the riverfront and downtown areas. (AP PhotoGerald Herbert)
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Revelers grab for beads as they are tossed from the balcony of the Royal Sonesta Hotel on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Despite threatening skies, the Mardi Gras party carried on as thousands of costumed revelers cheered glitzy floats with make-believe monarchs in an all-out bash before Lent. Crowds were a little smaller than recent years, perhaps influenced by the forecast of rain. Still, parades went off as scheduled even as a fog settled over the riverfront and downtown areas. (AP PhotoGerald Herbert)
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Revelers jump to grab t-shirts being tossed from the balcony of a strip club on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP PhotoGerald Herbert)
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Crowds of revelers are seen on Bourbon Street from the balcony of the Royal Sonesta Hotel during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP PhotoGerald Herbert)
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People throw beads from the balcony of the Royal Sonesta Hotel to crowds below on Bourbon Street during Mardi Gras in New Orleans, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. Despite threatening skies, the Mardi Gras party carried on as thousands of costumed revelers cheered glitzy floats with make-believe monarchs in an all-out bash before Lent. Crowds were a little smaller than recent years, perhaps influenced by the forecast of rain. Still, parades went off as scheduled even as a fog settled over the riverfront and downtown areas. (AP PhotoGerald Herbert)
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A man dresses up as Momotxorro, a local mythical animal, to mark carnival celebrations in Alsasua, northern Spain, Tuesday, Feb. 12, 2013. (AP PhotoAlvaro Barrientos)
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A performer from the Sao Clemente samba school parades during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Monday, Feb. 11, 2013. (AP PhotoFelipe Dana)

Description

Today is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent. In preparation for the 40 days – not counting Sundays – that lead up to Easter, many Christians first celebrate Shrove Tuesday, aka Fat Tuesday, with pancakes. They often fast or abstain from such rich foods during Lent.

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