Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Bonjour Carnival

Courtesy: Nice Office de Tourisme
King Carnival is back in sunny Nice on the French Riviera where he is welcome with his royal court for two weeklong fun-filled festivities (February 13-28) . While most of France is shivering in cold  February,  the Cote d'Azur enjoys balmy temperatures and sunny blue sky, perfect weather to celebrate  with parades the traditional Mardi Gras Carnival.

Nice Carnival tradition goes back to the Middle Ages.  It was first mentioned in 1294 in an account by Charles of Anjou, Count of Provence.  At the time it was a celebration leading up to  Lent where revelers celebrated the concept of transgression by dressing up, putting on masks and costumes.  The present day Nice Carnival begun to take its forms  late 19th century.  Nice carnival is unique in that it consists of parades of giant colorful figures made of papier-mâché and flower decorated floats.  Each year,  carnival centers around  a theme and  this year it is the  "King of Media" where freedom of expression, media in all its forms, the benefits medias bring and the excesses they create is celebrated.

Courtesy: Nice Office du Tourisme
The parades of flower bedecked floats accompanied by thousands of musicians snake along the coastal seafront on Promenade des Anglais and Avenue Massena, Nice's main avenue, loudly cheered by happy revelers.  Unique to Nice's carnival are the flower battles in which at top floats  young local ladies toss hundred of thousands of flowers to the happy crowds. Ninety percent of the flowers used at the parades are produced locally --jasmine, gladiolus, mimosa, daisies, carnations and roses --allowing  the region on this occasion to showcase its production.

Courtesy: Nice Office du Tourisme

At night a parade of illuminated floats snake up along the boulevards and on the last night of carnival (February 28)  fireworks display will light up the sky over the Mediterranean Sea.

For travel to Nice, the French Riviera, Paris and exciting destinations in France, contact www.enchanted-france.com  for custom itineraries.

tags: #FrenchRiviera, #NiceCarnival #travelFrance #Nice #Coted'Azur

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