Floats rolled down the streets of New Orleans, Louisiana, as revellers celebrated Mardi Gras, capping off the carnival with colourful costumes and dancing. Fat Tuesday, or Mardi Gras in French, sees people celebrate the last day of the carnival season, devoted to frivolity and partying in the final hours before Ash Wednesday, marking the beginning of Lent.

The carnival is organised by social clubs known as "Krewes" who stage one of the city's most celebrated parades on Fat Tuesday, a heritage that has helped define Mardi Gras.

The Zulu parade kicked off festivities on Tuesday (9 February) with riders on floats tossing beads and decorated coconuts into the crowd.

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A member of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club parades down St. Charles Avenue during Mardi Gras in New OrleansJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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Krewe of Rex parades down St. Charles Avenue during Mardi GrasJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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A member of the Mondo Kayo Social and Marching Club looks on at the paradeJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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A member of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club parades down Canal StreetJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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A member of the Mondo Kayo Social and Marching Club parades down St. Charles AvenueJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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A member of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club parades down Canal StreetJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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A member of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure ClubJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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A member of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club on Canal StreetJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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A reveller makes her way through the French Quarter during Mardi GrasJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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Two carnival-goers in the French QuarterJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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A man dressed as a banana for Mardi GrasJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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A member of the Mondo Kayo Social and Marching Club parades down St. Charles Avenue during Mardi Gras, New OrleansJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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A group of revellers look onJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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A reveller in the French QuarterJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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A member of the Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club throws a coconut during the New Orleans Rex ParadeJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images

Traditionally, there are a number of Krewes who take part in the parade, including Zulu Social Aid and Pleasure Club, the Mondo Kayo Social and Marching Club and Krewe of Rex, who had the most recognisable spectacles, including the Jester, the "Boeuf Gras" (or fatted bull), and the King of Carnival's float.

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Rex, King of Carnival, Michael W Kearney, toasts his queen during Mardi GrasJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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Jay Banks, King of Zulu, waves to crowdsJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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In the French QuarterJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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Revellers pack the famed Bourbon StreetJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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Resting in a barJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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A quick phone break during Mardi GrasJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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In the French QuarterJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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Revellers cheer for beadsJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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Walking through the French QuarterJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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Krewe of Rex parades down St. Charles AvenueJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images
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Members of the Mondo Kayo Social and Marching Club parade down St. Charles AvenueJonathan Bachman/ Getty Images