THE WORLDPOST
02/21/2011 06:00 pm ET Updated Sep 19, 2011

Carnival Celebrations Begin In Italy, France, Brazil (PHOTOS)

Celebrations kicked off this weekend in the last days leading up to 'Carnival,' the festive pre-Lent celebration, in areas across Europe and South America.

In Brazil, the festivities -- which attract hundreds of thousands of tourists and a global television audience -- don't officially begin until March 4, but that didn't stop scantily-clad drag queens and other revelers who donned fantastic costumes from hitting the Rio de Janeiro streets early for a colorful parade.

Elsewhere, Nice's carnival celebrations with a lively "King of the Mediterranean" aquatic theme, while an ominous Silvio Berlusconi-like float was just one highlight of the Viareggio Carnival in Italy.

View photos of the celebrations here:

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