Carnaval de Nice is heating up the South of France
Posted on 10/02/2019 9 shares

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Starting February 16 and ending two raucous weeks later on March 2, the Nice Carnival isn't as well-known as that of Brazil or Venice, but that doesn't mean it's any less dazzling. Each year, millions of people from near and far convene on the city of Nice to celebrate.

An age old tradition

An age old tradition
© darray1/123RF

Officially started in 1873, the festivities actually have their roots in the middle ages. It signals the beginning of the Christian fasting period known as Lent, when believers are supposed to give up unhealthy foods and sometimes meat until Easter. In the past, meat, eggs, sugar, and all dairy products were forbidden during this period, and Carnival marked the final days of the year when the good things in life could still be enjoyed.

Life of the party

Life of the party
© darray1/123RF

Lavish costumes, quirky floats and enormous excess are the hallmarks of every Carnival, and Nice is no exception. But for this year's theme, "King of Cinema," garish portraits of public figures such as Kim Jong Un, Donald Trump, Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin will float over the city during the parade. The theme is intended to celebrate 100 years of French film company Victorine Studios, but it seems even Carnival is finding it impossible to avoid the theatrics of the world's political landscape. The figures will be portrayed as a variety of grotesque clowns.

Events throughout the festivities include a Flower Parade, a Parade of Lights during which the giant floats will be illuminated and paraded through the city's streets, and Lou Queernaval, the only LGBTQ Carnival celebration in France. The festivities last over two weeks and three weekends, and tickets can be purchased through the Carnival website.

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