AP PHOTOS: New Orleans, Rio, Cologne — Carnival joy peaks around the world as Lent approaches

Parades, music, dancing in the streets — joyous Carnival celebrations marking the final days of revelry before Lent are peaking in New Orleans, Rio de Janeiro and other locales in the Americas and Europe.

Each city has its unique Carnival customs but the similarities are inescapable. Dancers in feathered headdresses gyrated and strutted in parades featuring lavish floats with giant figures of Greek gods or pop stars. Costumes abounded and the themes of the various festivities ran from whimsical to satirical.

Shoulder-to-shoulder crowds savored the music and rhythms around a music truck in Salvador or outside Bourbon Street nightclubs in New Orleans.

As the celebrations grew over the weekend, fanciful costumes were on the rise. One group of revelers wore costumes made from beer and soda cans during a parade in Madre de Deus, Brazil, on Sunday. A reveler in New Orleans strolled Bourbon Street in an intricately beaded hat adorned with gold butterflies.

Politicians and world figures were lampooned. The words “Choke on it ”were lettered on a float in Cologne, Germany, showing a giant Vladimir Putin eating Ukraine. In New Orleans, Donald Trump, President Joe Biden and his son Hunter and the local mayor were ridiculed in caricatures on floats.

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