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Carnival Nice 2012

(written by Dave)

A quick post with lots of photos.  I think that we’ve mentioned that this is Carnival week here in Nice.  Actually it is Carnival weeks.  It started on the 17th of February and runs through the 4th of March.  We’ve been trying to take in a few of the events.

Best we can tell, the major focus of Carnival is parades, and lot of them.  There are three separate parades, the Flower Parade, the Parade of Lights and the Carnival Parade.  Each of these parades runs 5 separate times during the 2 week Carnival period.  To call these parades is really a misnomer.  They are highly organized with massive floats and set routines.  It is more like watching the nightly show at the Circus Circus casino than it is parade.  What’s even odder is that none of these parades can be officially viewed for free, you have to buy a ticket.  I say officially as yesterday we watched the Carnival Parade and today the Flower Parade, both for free.  In both cases, we kind of just hung around on the edges until we were able to walk right in.  As both events were sold out, I don’t think that the security guards were too worried.

Like carnival in Brazil, the Carnival here is based on religious celebrations that occur before forty days of Lent.  In this time of merriment, all excesses were authorized, all bets off, behind masks, protected by disguises until Mardi Gras.  I’m not sure how much is still based on Catholicism as the fun runs before, during and after the Tuesday of Mardi Gras.  The Carnival Parade was mostly floats and not many marchers.  The Flower Parade had quite a few Brazil-like scantily clad women and fewer floats.  During Flower Parade the people on the floats threw flowers to the crowd.  We caught a few but Nancy held me back from knocking over too many of the little old ladies.

I’m not sure how much more of Carnival that we will see.  A lot of the floats in the first two parades were repeated.  Many of the performers were the same as well.  Other than getting another look at the Brazil-like girls we’ve probably seen enough.  And of course, I still have the photos.  Too bad Mats wasn’t here this week, he would have enjoyed all of the flowers we saw today.

While out trying to sneak into the parade, we ran into a couple of the girls from our French class (Kany and Fanny).  They were out enjoying the warm weather and sunshine, as all good Swedes do.  They were both sick our last day of class and we missed saying goodbye so it was nice to see them.  They also live in Sweden so we may look them up once we get further north as well.

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10 responses to “Carnival Nice 2012

  1. Looks like fun – The pictures of the little girl on the float are hilarious!

  2. Wow. No parades like that in Gardnerville, Nv…
    Looks like fun!

  3. Forget the tour, Im going to the flower parade…….!!! :-))

  4. Thought this might make you nostalgic for the good old days

  5. For the dates I assume you meant to write It started on the 17th of Feb and runs through the 4th of March ?

    Glad you were able to sneak in and have a look and take the pictures for us.

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