Integral parts of the Christian calendar, carnivals are typically marked by public celebrations or parades blending elements of the street party, circus, and masquerade ball.
Although the origin of the name Carnival is disputed, variants in Italian dialects suggest the name comes from the Italian carne levare, which means to remove meat, since meat is prohibited during the season of Lent, which usually follows the carnival celebrations.
From Santa Cruz de Tenerife and Cádiz in Spain to Barranquilla and Pasto in Colombia, carnivals are celebrated in a number of regions in the world. Some of the best-known celebrations are seen in parts of Brazil, Italy, Venezuela, and Uruguay.
Start the slideshow to see our list of the 10 most popular carnivals of the world.