The Nice Carnivale

Zoe's February break of two weeks came so close after returning from South Africa as a result we just didn't want to get into an airplane again (even though we thought about it) and Jean only had a few days to take off from his work on  his dissertation. At the suggestion of a friend we headed off for the Nice Carnivale -- the original Mardi Gras. The Carnivale has been going on for 123 years to brighten up the winter days and celebrate Fat Tuesday (Mardi in French is Tuesday) and Gras is a form of fat I believe --- Gross? In any case the Cote de Azur loves to celebrate it. In Nice parades and celebrations go on for two weeks with the choice of booking a seat in the stands or parking yourself among the crowds on the streets.


Arriving on Tuesday afternoon we headed out for the 9pm parade with the crowds. Surprisingly it wasn't so busy that we were able to push ourselves to the front and get a front row stand. Armed with cans of stringy plastic confetti and bags of cut up paper confetti we joined in the fun squirting the floats, the people and ourselves.



The Carnivale's theme is best described as a free-for-all with ties to the Rugby World Cup, held in France this summer, and France’s elections. Some of the floats looked recognizable and others combined artistry with imagination and shock.


On the left is a football with people scrimmaging on it and two hands floating nearby to grab it. It took me awhile to see this as I thought it was a floating monster from outer space. That is art for you!


. And of course only in France would you have a float of vegetables with a walking leek on stilts. 




A leek













We think this is floating sperm?













These funny little people are actually on stilts in huge blowup costumes like Casper the friendly ghost. Look closely at the women .in the middle. She is sitting in a pocket





Zoe with confetti all over. We all felt like kids in a snowball fight.



This young trapeze artist was doing tricks throughout the entire parade!!!