Our favorite Carnival 2012 scenes from celebrations in Rio and around the world:
Performers from Diablada group wearing bear costumes take part in the carnival parade in Oruro, Bolivia, on February 18, 2012. (Reuters/David Mercado)
People dressed for Carnival pause at the start of carnival in Lucerne early on February 16, 2012. The history of Lucerne's carnival can be traced back over more than 600 years. (Michael Buholzer/Reuters)
Dancers of Uniao da Ilha samba school parade on a huge float during carnival celebrations at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on February 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Felipe Dana
A reveler of the Beija-Flor samba school performs at the Sambadrome during the first night of Rio de Janeiro's famed carnival parades on February 20, 2012.
A dancer of Mocidade Alegre samba school dances ahead of drummers during the second night of carnival celebrations in Sao Paulo on February 19, 2012.
A reveler of Beija-Flor samba school dances during the first night of carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on February 20, 2012.
The Grande Rio samba school parades during Carnival at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro on February 21, 2012. (Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press)
A reveler of Grande Rio samba school performs during the second night of Carnival parade at the Sambadrome in Rio de Janeiro, early on February 21, 2012.
A member of the Diablada Urus group parades during Carnival in Oruro, Bolivia on February 18, 2012. (David Mercado/Reuters)
Fools dressed as so-called "Schellenruehrer" (bell shakers) perform on a snowy street of Mittenwald, Germany on February 16, 2012, as the Carnival season began. Hundreds of thousands of Germans, mainly in the western Rhine region, crowd the streets to celebrate Women's Carnival Day, when women traditionally are allowed to cut men's ties. (Frank Leonhardt/AFP/Getty Images)
Revelers hold hands as they fall back into the mud during the "Bloco da Lama," or "Mud Block" carnival parade in Parati, Brazil on February 18, 2012. (Felipe Dana/Associated Press)
People in costume arrive at the Palazzo Pisani Moretta during the historic "Doge Ball" in Venice on February 18, 2012. (Andrea Pattaro/AFP/Getty Images
People throw talcum powder at one another as they take part in the "Los Indianos" in Santa Cruz de la Palma, on the Spanish Canary island of Las Palma on February 20, 2012. (Desiree Martin/AFP/Getty Images)
Photo sources: [please note, all photos are labeled with their original captions and the images are linked back to the articles in which they were originally featured]
1. Performers in Bolivia: http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/02/carnival-2012/100248/
2. People dressed for Carnival in Lucerne: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/02/carnival_2012.html
3. Dancers of Uniao da Ilha samba school: http://www.theatlantic.com/infocus/2012/02/more-from-carnival-2012/100250/
4. A reveler of the Beija Flor samba school: http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-202_162-10011378-44.html
5. A dancer of Mocidade Alegre samba school : http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/brazil/120221/carnival-2012-photos?page=1&1329935892632=
6. A reveler of Beija-Flor samba school: http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-202_162-10011378-30.html
7. The Grande Rio samba school parades: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/02/carnival_2012.html
8. A reveler of Grande Rio samba school: http://www.cbsnews.com/2300-202_162-10011378-9.html
9. A member of the Diablada Urus group parades: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/02/carnival_2012.html
9. Fools on a snowy street of Mittenwald, Germany: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/02/carnival_2012.html
10. Revelers hold hands as they fall back into the mud during the “Bloco da Lama”: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/02/carnival_2012.html
11. People in costume arrive at the Palazzo Pisani Moretta: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/02/carnival_2012.html
12. People throw talcum powder at one another: http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/02/carnival_2012.html