The king is back for the Carnival!
The Carnival, a celebration as old as the world, was originally a pagan feast. The name derives from the latin "Carne levare, levamen" or "removal of the flesh" (which is the most common definition). The event takes place before Lent and includes the celebration of Mardi Gras -- the last celebration before a period of fasting. As one can imagine, this leads to some serious celebrating!
The golden age of the Carnival de Nice dates back to the Belle-Epoque, but its history goes back a long way. The Duke of Anjou, Provence Charles II, is said to have journeyed to Nice just to enjoy the festivities as early as 1294.
Today the Nice Carnival is one of the world's most popular events of its kind, thanks in no small part to the record-breaking number of paper-maché figurines in the crowd. During the parades, festival-goers carry about 150 000 hand-painted lamps, twinkling like so many stars at the Carnival which goes on for two whole weeks. The lighting and decorations set up in Nice for the event are one-of-a-kind, transforming the Place Masséna and the Promenade des Anglais into a twinkling fairytale setting.
Celebrations, surprises, costumes, make-up, glitter and gold, floats and parades, flowers, puppets and a huge firework display to close the festival… On the Côte d'Azur or French Riviera beside the Mediterranean, Nice Carnival is the European Rio Carnival!
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From Friday, February 15 2013 to Wednesday, March 6 2013