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.
Revellers wearing masks pose for photographers during carnival festivities in the north-eastern Portuguese village of Podence Rafael Marchante/Reuters Revellers wearing wooden masks and bells take part in the Caretos carnival in the village of Vila Boa de Ousilhao, in north-eastern Portugal Miguel Riopa/AFP 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 Ousilhao Miguel Riopa/AFP A reveller wearing a wooden mask and straw costume jumps during the traditional Caretos carnival in the village of Lazarim, central Portugal Francisco Leong/AFP A carnival reveller dressed as a devil poses during Carnival in the village of Lazarim, Portugal Francisco Leong/AFP Carnival revellers dressed as "Peliqueiros" (tax collectors) run along a street in Laza, north-western Spain, ringing their cowbells and hitting villagers with their sticks Miguel Vidal/Reuters 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, Spain Vincent West/Reuters 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 province Ander Gillenea/AFP Revellers participate in a flour fight during the "O Entroido" festival in the north-western Spanish village of Laza Miguel Vidal/Reuters Revellers stage a flour fight during carnival in Laza, Spain Miguel Vidal/Reuters Clown-like performers known as Gilles take part in a carnival parade in the streets of Binche, Belgium Benoit Doppagne/AFP Gilles of Binche, with enormous ostrich plumes on their heads, throw oranges at members of the public Yves Herman/Reuters Children dressed as Pierrot dance around flares while the Gilles of Binche stand together Yves Herman/Reuters Revellers wearing carved carnival masks parade through the village of Elzach in the Black Forest, Germany Michael Dalder/Reuters People in traditional costumes and carnival masks parade through the village of Elzach in the Black Forest, Germany Michael Dalder/Reuters 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, Germany Ina Fassbender/Reuters 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 Duesseldorf Ina Fassbender/Reuters 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 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 Brazil Nuno Guimaraes/Reuters 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 Brazil Nuno Guimaraes/Reuters Revellers cover themselves in mud from the Redinha mangrove swamps in Rio Grande do Norte state Nuno Guimaraes/Reuters 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 Ashboune Christopher Furlong/Getty Images 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 Wednesday Oli Scarff/AFP A player takes a break during the annual Ashbourne Royal Shrovetide 'no rules' football match Christopher Furlong/Getty Images Opposing teams of the Up'ards and the Down'ards compete in the annual Royal Shrovetide Football Match in Ashbourne, Derbyshire, England Oli Scarff/AFP