Carnival and Mardi Gras, introduction (episode 1)

1. The Carnival

The celebration of the carnival is a widespread custom in France. It is the joy of many people, young and old, believers and non-believers alike, in all French regions of the world and it is also followed by all French people abroad.

This tradition is of Christian origin, which is why the period of festivities took place between two religious holidays, from the Epiphany (January 6) to Mardi Gras (the day before Lent).
Historically, during this period, it is traditional to have fun, laugh, sing, dance and also eat well before beginning the Lenten period, which requires believers to eat very lightly for 40 days.

Each year, children choose the disguise they want to wear by playing for a day their favourite fictional character (a princess or a superhero), travelling to a not so distant universe (Indian or pirate), the profession they admire (dancer or firefighter…), or by carefully making this custom disguise for weeks that will make them unique.
Adults are not to be outdone, every year, some people redouble their imagination to imagine a costume as extravagant as possible.

In cities and villages, schools, dance schools, entertainment clubs… generally choose a theme for each new edition: flowers, fruits, animals, myths, fictional characters, life in space (…), ideas are not lacking to entertain themselves!

Preparations are sometimes made a year in advance, especially when it comes to designing tanks that require hundreds of hours of work but also funding that has to be renewed each year.
We will first look for an idea of a theme, then draw the patterns of the costumes and the plans of the tank, we will look for the best fabrics and accessories, we will mobilize make-up artists, seamstresses, dancers, cooks, musicians… and everyone will contribute to prepare this event.
The parades of floats and bands, jugglers, jugglers, balancers, fireworks, exchanges of coils and cotillion… contribute to make the carnival so unique, so festive, so special and each year so unforgettable.

2. Mardi Gras

Carnival usually takes place over 3 or 4 days and it is on Mardi Gras, the most important day of this festive period because it is the last day of the carnival. It is on this day that all those who wish to join the celebration together and throughout the country can do so.

The children are really cheerful at Mardi Gras, they even dress up at school that day!
In the schoolyard or on the sidewalks in the city centre, pancakes, waffles, doughnuts and other local specialities with a sweet taste are prepared and eaten.
Some organize shows, plays, role-playing games… at Mardi Gras, anything is possible and even the most shy ones will dare to stage themselves behind their masks.

Tell us about your carnival experiences (good and bad), the carnivals you recommend or your suggestions for activities?
We are looking forward to your stories and comments !


This post is part of a serie:

Carnival and Mardi Gras, choosing the right disguise (episode 2)

Carnival and Mardi Gras, respect the basic rules of politeness and courtesy (episode 3)

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