Last week we were lucky enough to be in Nice at Carnival time. The earliest recorded mention of a carnival in Nice was in 1294 when the Count of Provence, Charles d’Anjou, spent the ‘joyous days of Carnival’ in Nice but the carnival in its ‘modern’ form dates from 1873.
This year’s theme is ‘King of Five Continents’. We started with the illuminated procession with eighteen elaborate floats and over 1,000 dancers and musicians:
We enjoyed the illuminated procession so much that we went back later in the week to see the ‘Battle of Flowers’. This parade consists of floats with stunning floral arrangements and extravagantly dressed characters who throw mimosas, gerberas and lillies to the crowds. Some people went home with armfuls of flowers but I only managed to get one small spray of mimosa and I think that was only because one of the stewards took pity on me!
We also travelled to Menton and – guess what – they had a festival too! 2013 is the eightieth year of the Menton Lemon Festival and so the theme was ‘Around the World in Eighty Days’. There weren’t any parades on the day we visited but there were these magnificent creations made of lemons and oranges:
We had a fantastic time and the atmosphere was terrific. So long live the carnival!