Traditional carnivals are held in many Christian countries around the world on Shrove Tuesday. As it is the day before the fasting period of Lent begins, believers use up all their sugar, fat and eggs in foods such as pancakes. This gives Shrove Tuesday the name Mardi Gras, or Fat Tuesday.

Carnivals often involve masked devilish figures running riot through villages, scaring the locals. In this gallery, we look at some of the more bizarre carnivals that took place around the world on Shrove Tuesday 2015.

carnival around the world
Revellers wearing masks pose for photographers during carnival festivities in the north-eastern Portuguese village of PodenceRafael Marchante/Reuters
carnival around the world
Revellers wearing wooden masks and bells take part in the Caretos carnival in the village of Vila Boa de Ousilhao, in north-eastern PortugalMiguel Riopa/AFP
carnival around the world
Revellers wearing traditional wooden masks and costumes pose on a cart during the traditional Celtic carnival "Caretos" in the Portuguese village of Vila Boa de OusilhaoMiguel Riopa/AFP
carnival around the world
A reveller wearing a wooden mask and straw costume jumps during the traditional Caretos carnival in the village of Lazarim, central PortugalFrancisco Leong/AFP
carnival around the world
A carnival reveller dressed as a devil poses during Carnival in the village of Lazarim, PortugalFrancisco Leong/AFP
carnival around the world
Carnival revellers dressed as "Peliqueiros" (tax collectors) run along a street in Laza, north-western Spain, ringing their cowbells and hitting villagers with their sticksMiguel Vidal/Reuters
carnival around the world
Ziripot, a traditional figure stuffed with straw, whose role as the strongest person in the village is to defeat the evil bandit Miel Otxin, is helped up during carnival celebrations in the village of Lantz, Navarra, SpainVincent West/Reuters
carnival around the world
A man covered in cow's blood and wearing a traditional costume parades during the carnival in the northern Spanish village of Alsasua, in Navarra provinceAnder Gillenea/AFP
carnival around the world
Revellers participate in a flour fight during the "O Entroido" festival in the north-western Spanish village of LazaMiguel Vidal/Reuters
carnival around the world
Revellers stage a flour fight during carnival in Laza, SpainMiguel Vidal/Reuters
gilles of Binche carnival
Clown-like performers known as Gilles take part in a carnival parade in the streets of Binche, BelgiumBenoit Doppagne/AFP
gilles of Binche carnival
Gilles of Binche, with enormous ostrich plumes on their heads, throw oranges at members of the publicYves Herman/Reuters
gilles of Binche carnival
Children dressed as Pierrot dance around flares while the Gilles of Binche stand togetherYves Herman/Reuters
carnival around the world
Revellers wearing carved carnival masks parade through the village of Elzach in the Black Forest, GermanyMichael Dalder/Reuters
carnival around the world
People in traditional costumes and carnival masks parade through the village of Elzach in the Black Forest, GermanyMichael Dalder/Reuters
carnival around the world
A carnival float with a papier-mâché caricature of Russia's President Vladimir Putin with the words "military" and "economy" written on his biceps drives past revellers during the traditional Rose Monday carnival parade in Duesseldorf, GermanyIna Fassbender/Reuters
carnival around the world
A float with satirical sculptures of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras slaying German Chancellor Angela Merkel is seen at the annual Rose Monday carnival parade in DuesseldorfIna Fassbender/Reuters
carnival around the world
A carnival float with a papier-mâché sculpture depicting the Charlie Hebdo massacre takes part in the Rose Monday carnival parade in Duesseldorf, Germany. The speech bubble reads: "You can't kill satire"Ina Fassbender/Reuters
carnival around the world
A reveller with a set of shark's jaws on his head celebrates at a party known as "Os Cao" (The Dog) in the Redinha mangrove swamps in Rio Grande do Norte state, north-eastern BrazilNuno Guimaraes/Reuters
carnival around the world
A mud-covered man rides a horse covered in mud at the annual block party known as "Os Cao" (The Dog) in Redinha in Rio Grande do Norte state, north-eastern BrazilNuno Guimaraes/Reuters
carnival around the world
Revellers cover themselves in mud from the Redinha mangrove swamps in Rio Grande do Norte stateNuno Guimaraes/Reuters
carnival around the world
Rival teams the 'Up'ards and Down'ards' battle for the ball during the annual Ashbourne Shrovetide football match in Ashbourne, England. First played in the 17th Century between teams from opposite ends of the Derbyshire town, hundreds of participants aim to get a ball into one of two goals that are positioned three miles apart at either end of AshbouneChristopher Furlong/Getty Images
carnival around the world
A player competing in the annual Royal Shrovetide Football Match waits in the water in the hope of receiving the ball in Ashbourne, Derbyshire. The game, which has very few rules, is played over two eight-hour periods on Shrove Tuesday and Ash WednesdayOli Scarff/AFP
carnival around the world
A player takes a break during the annual Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide 'no rules' football matchChristopher Furlong/Getty Images
carnival around the world
Opposing teams of the Up'ards and the Down'ards compete in the annual Royal Shrovetide Football Match in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, EnglandOli Scarff/AFP