The carnival you don't know – The coastal Colombian city of Barranquilla hosts what organizers claim is the world's second-largest carnival celebration, behind Rio de Janeiro. The celebration runs February 6-9 this year.
All in – Barranquilla's carnival kicked off with the Batalla de Flores parade, which drew a 600,000-strong crowd this year.
African elements – A dancer waves his arms into crescendo during the Mapale, a frenetic African dance. Indigenous and African cultures are emphasized in Barranquillo.
Big Carib – The carnival "shares common sentiments in joy, music and awareness of the Caribbean self," say organizers.
What would Carnaval be without ... – Scanty costumes and vibrant colors are part of carnival festivities the world over. In Barranquilla, carnival also has a distinctly Caribbean flavor.
Local tradition – One of the more controversial characters of the Carnaval is the "Son de Negro," a figure of liberation, according to local tradition.
Crowd pleasing – Barranquilla attracts 1.5 million revelers throughout the carnival's duration, according to Carla Celia, director of the Carnaval de Barranquilla.
International appeal – "It's great to see all types of Colombian people come together," says Saskia Werner of the Netherlands (left), who attended with friend Lieke Prins.
Congo finery – Men painted in Colombian colors dance congo, a traditional warrior's dance from Africa.
Congo dancing – In a break from tradition, women dance congo, a performance that originally featured men disguised as women.
Blended traditions – Costumes, music and dances portray the 220 years of the carnival's history.
Feathers galore – Some costumes are similar to those seen in Rio de Janeiro.