Events  A look at the festive Nice Carnival 2017
16/02/201723:00 TV5MONDE

When you hear the word “carnival”, what’s the first thought which comes to your mind? Surprisingly, “Nice” does not always pop up as an answer. One of the world's top 3 carnivals alongside Brazil and Venice, the iconic city, located on the French Riviera and 975 km from Paris, celebrates its carnival traditionally in the month of February.
 
Research tells us that the earliest record in history speaks of Charles Anjou, Count of Provence, who mentioned that he had enjoyed the festivities of the carnival back in the year 1294. If that’s the case, Nice’s version might very well be the world’s first carnival celebration.
 
Historically, carnivals are a period of time when people enjoy rich foods and drinks to prepare for the upcoming Lent, where abstinence from many material enjoyment are prohibited. On the same tangent, the most widely accepted etymology for the term “Carnival” is carne levare (“away with meat”). 
 
Modern carnivals in Nice came a long way. In the antique times, carnivals were usually celebrated with masked balls, parties on the streets, etc. Nowadays, Nice’s carnival is renowned for its large, incredible and impeccably designed floats, depicting a special theme every year. According to the official website, a theme is drawn from a hat at random every year. Cartoonists, artists, sculptors, political satirists and more all take part in the design and production. 

Let’s take a look at some of Nice’s past carnival and the current one. The celebrations started on last Saturday the 11th of February, and shall continue until next Saturday the 25th. If you are in town, be sure to check out all the shows, music, dance and other celebrations!

© nicecarnival.com

© nicecarnival.com

Let's not forget about the theme of politics and satire.

© Reuters/Eric Gaillard

© Nogier/EPA/Rex/Shutterstock

And here are some images from past years:
 





Have fun! For more information on the event and its programming, please refer to its official website.

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