Brazil carnival preparations underway (PHOTOS)

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Carnival King Momo (C) shows the keys to the city he was given by Rio's mayor Eduardo Paes (not shown) during the official launching of the 2012 Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on February 17, 2012. AFP PHOTO/VANDERLEI ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

Credit:

VANDERLEI ALMEIDA

Salvador, one of Brazil's carnival capitals, geared up for celebrations that will last until Fat Tuesday. Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 days of penance, in Christianity.

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    SALVADOR, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 16: A military police officer walks past revelers dressed in traditional Carnival costumes on the first day of Carnival celebrations on February 16, 2012 in Salvador, Brazil. Carnival is the grandest holiday in Brazil, annually drawing millions in raucous celebrations culminating on Fat Tuesday before the start of the Catholic season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. Salvador is the capital of the Northeastern state of Bahia and was the first colonial capital of Brazil. Police strikes in Salvador and Rio de Janeiro in recent weeks threatened Carnival and raised questions about the country’s preparedness to host the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival begins tomorrow. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Credit:

    Mario Tama

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    SALVADOR, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 16: Brazilian military police keep watch on the first day of Carnival celebrations on February 16, 2012 in Salvador, Brazil. Carnival is the grandest holiday in Brazil, annually drawing millions in raucous celebrations culminating on Fat Tuesday before the start of the Catholic season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. Salvador is the capital of the Northeastern state of Bahia and was the first colonial capital of Brazil. Police strikes in Salvador and Rio de Janiero in recent weeks threatened Carnival and raised questions about the country’s preparedness to host the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival begins tomorrow. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Credit:

    Mario Tama

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    SALVADOR, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 16: A Brazilian woman dons traditional attire as a girl looks on with Carnival attire on the first day of Carnival celebrations on February 16, 2012 in Salvador, Brazil. Carnival is the grandest holiday in Brazil, annually drawing millions in raucous celebrations culminating on Fat Tuesday before the start of the Catholic season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. Salvador is the capital of the Northeastern state of Bahia and was the first colonial capital of Brazil. Police strikes in Salvador and Rio de Janiero in recent weeks threatened Carnival and raised questions about the country’s preparedness to host the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Rio de Janiero’s Carnival begins tomorrow. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Credit:

    Mario Tama

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    SALVADOR, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 16: Brazilians march on the first day of Carnival celebrations on February 16, 2012 in Salvador, Brazil. Carnival is the grandest holiday in Brazil, annually drawing millions in raucous celebrations culminating on Fat Tuesday before the start of the Catholic season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. Salvador is the capital of the Northeastern state of Bahia and was the first colonial capital of Brazil. Police strikes in Salvador and Rio de Janeiro in recent weeks threatened Carnival and raised questions about the country’s preparedness to host the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Rio de Janeiro's Carnival begins tomorrow. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Credit:

    Mario Tama

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    SALVADOR, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 16: Brazilians relax after performing in traditional Carnival costumes on the first day of Carnival celebrations on February 16, 2012 in Salvador, Brazil. Carnival is the grandest holiday in Brazil, annually drawing millions in raucous celebrations culminating on Fat Tuesday before the start of the Catholic season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. Salvador is the capital of the Northeastern state of Bahia and was the first colonial capital of Brazil. Police strikes in Salvador and Rio de Janiero in recent weeks threatened Carnival and raised questions about the country’s preparedness to host the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival begins tomorrow. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Credit:

    Mario Tama

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    SALVADOR, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 16: Brazilians perform capoeira on the first day of Carnival celebrations on February 16, 2012 in Salvador, Brazil. Capoeira is a Brazilian martial art and dance form that was developed by slaves in the region. Carnival is the grandest holiday in Brazil, annually drawing millions in raucous celebrations culminating on Fat Tuesday before the start of the Catholic season of Lent beginning on Ash Wednesday. Salvador is the capital of the Northeastern state of Bahia and was the first colonial capital of Brazil. Police strikes in Salvador and Rio de Janiero in recent weeks threatened Carnival and raised questions about the country’s preparedness to host the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Rio de Janiero’s Carnival begins tomorrow. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Credit:

    Mario Tama

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    SALVADOR, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 16: Brazilian performers wait to parade on the first day of Carnival celebrations on February 16, 2012 in Salvador, Brazil. Carnival is the grandest holiday in Brazil, annually drawing millions in raucous celebrations culminating on Fat Tuesday before the start of the Catholic season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. Salvador is the capital of the Northeastern state of Bahia and was the first colonial capital of Brazil. Police strikes in Salvador and Rio de Janeiro in recent weeks threatened Carnival and raised questions about the country’s preparedness to host the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival begins tomorrow. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Credit:

    Mario Tama

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    SALVADOR, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 16: Performers dance on the first day of Carnival celebrations on February 16, 2012 in Salvador, Brazil. Carnival is the grandest holiday in Brazil, annually drawing millions in raucous celebrations culminating on Fat Tuesday before the start of the Catholic season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. Salvador is the capital of the Northeastern state of Bahia and was the first colonial capital of Brazil. Police strikes in Salvador and Rio de Janiero in recent weeks threatened Carnival and raised questions about the country’s preparedness to host the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Rio de Janiero’s Carnival begins tomorrow. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Credit:

    Mario Tama

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    SALVADOR, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 16: Dancers perform on the first day of Carnival celebrations on February 16, 2012 in Salvador, Brazil. Carnival is the grandest holiday in Brazil, annually drawing millions in raucous celebrations culminating on Fat Tuesday before the start of the Catholic season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. Salvador is the capital of the Northeastern state of Bahia and was the first colonial capital of Brazil. Police strikes in Salvador and Rio de Janiero in recent weeks threatened Carnival and raised questions about the country’s preparedness to host the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Rio de Janiero’s Carnival begins tomorrow. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Credit:

    Mario Tama

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    SALVADOR, BRAZIL - FEBRUARY 16: A couple kiss before performing on the first day of Carnival celebrations on February 16, 2012 in Salvador, Brazil. Carnival is the grandest holiday in Brazil, annually drawing millions in raucous celebrations culminating on Fat Tuesday before the start of the Catholic season of Lent which begins on Ash Wednesday. Salvador is the capital of the Northeastern state of Bahia and was the first colonial capital of Brazil. Police strikes in Salvador and Rio de Janiero in recent weeks threatened Carnival and raised questions about the country’s preparedness to host the upcoming 2014 World Cup and 2016 Summer Olympics. Rio de Janeiro’s Carnival begins tomorrow. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

    Credit:

    Mario Tama

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    Carnival King Momo (L) gets from Rio's mayor Eduardo Paes (R) the keys to the city during the official launching of the 2012 Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on February 17, 2012. AFP PHOTO/VANDERLEI ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

    Credit:

    VANDERLEI ALMEIDA

  • brazil_carnival_2012_12.jpg

    Carnival King Momo (C) shows the keys to the city he was given by Rio's mayor Eduardo Paes (not shown) during the official launching of the 2012 Carnival in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on February 17, 2012. AFP PHOTO/VANDERLEI ALMEIDA (Photo credit should read VANDERLEI ALMEIDA/AFP/Getty Images)

    Credit:

    VANDERLEI ALMEIDA