Art & Culture

France & Carnivals

Carnival… When we hear this word, there are bright colorful pictures of a distant and alluring Rio de Janeiro in our imagination – the home of the most famous annual costume carnival in the world. However, there are many similar events that can bring great pleasure. Carnivals are organized in many countries and France is also famous for its carnival traditions. 2012 is not an exception – traditional festive occasions will be in different cities across the country.

And if Paris Carnival, held on February 19, we already can not visit, we can still look at the carnival in Nice. It began on February 17 and will end on March 4. This festival is considered the most significant event of the winter season on Cote d’Azur and one of the biggest festivals in the world with many bright performances. The carnival’s theme this year sounds “King of Sports.” Hundreds of actors, musicians and dancers from around the world gathered together in Nice for two weeks to entertain residents and visitors of the city on the famous Promenade des Anglais.

If you’ll be in the French Alps in the beginning of March you have the opportunity to visit the town of Annecy, where “Venetian Carnival” will be held on March 2-4. Don’t be surprised at such a name, because this town is called “Alpine Venice” for a long time and the local Carnival has many common features with its Italian analog. Of course, this is not the most ambitious and mass show in France (about two hundred and fifty masks are involved), but the beauty and charm of costumes of the participants, marching through the streets of Annecy, will not leave anyone indifferent.

As we can see, March – a very festive month in France. One more parade is held on March 4 in another wonderful city – Bordeaux. Visiting it in the day, you will witness the original local occasion called “Carnival of the two banks.” Hundreds of local and visiting actors take part in this musical and costume parade on the streets of Bordeaux. The culmination of the festival, as you might guess from its name, – the crossing from one side of the Garonne river to the other. Also in this day Bordeaux becomes a music capital of French, as more than twenty music groups perform at city’s squares, bars, cafes and restaurants. It is noteworthy that each year organizers of the festival celebrate an appointed country, this time Turkey is the hero of the festival.

On July 3 all Parisians and tourists are invited to the amazing “Tropical Carnival” – the annual show devoted to Antibes. This wonderful festival of music and culture accustoms guests to a bright and original tropical world of the Overseas territories of France. The participants of the carnival are about two thousand dancers, musicians and actors from different countries. The integral parts of this festival are a tasting of tropical food, competitions for the best costume and the best wagon, election of the Queen of Carnival. And the apotheosis of the festival, as it should be on a carnival, – a bright procession along the streets of Paris.