NICE CARNIVAL, AN OLD DOG WITH NEW TRICKS
Posted on Monday, 1 February 2010
|Nice Carnival is fast approaching with just 11 days left until the start of one of the world's largest and longest running carnivals. The Carnival, or Carnaval as it is called in France, is due to start on the 12th February 2010 under the guiding theme of the Blue Planet.|
The grandstands have been erected and the sound stage in Place Massena is ready for the off. Hundreds of float builders, dressmakers, flower growers, dancers and participants are frantically putting the finishing touches to their costumes, constructions and produce. As they have been doing for generations in Nice.
The Carnival originated as a final blow out prior to the abstinence of lent but the festivities have gently evolved over the years from debauched revelry to more austere celebrations and into the bright, cheerful and colourful family event that it is today.
There are 3 main events to look out for at the Nice Carnival; The daytime Carnaval Parades that feature the massive colourful floats, music and dancers, the Flower parades, which began in the late 1800's with the genteel practise of presenting bouquets of flowers to the ladies in carriages and has developed into magnificent flowered floats displaying some of the beautiful local flowers and finally the dramatic nigh time Parade of lights with the huge magical floats that light the Promenade des Anglais.
The Carnival goes on for 2 weeks with scheduled events and a mix of free and paid entries. It culminates with the traditional burning of the 'King of the Carnival' on the 28th February 2010 but this year there are some new traditions being added to the mix.
The Nice Carnival leaves the streets of Nice to enter a more virtual arena with a parade taking place in the virtual world of Second life. It also has it's own facebook page and this year featured an audience participation element with a public vote of a new Carnival Queen.
It may be a centuries old event but the Nice Carnival is looking to the future too and keeping up with the times. Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks?