Dunkirk, Montargis, Clisson, Granville, Mehun-sur-Yèvre, Limoux… focus on these 6 French carnivals!

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1- Dunkirk

Let’s head north to meet the Band of Bergues from the famous Carnival of Dunkirk. On the agenda, two and a half months of songs, parties, masks and costumes that enliven the cities of northern France, including the fortified city of Bergues.

This historic carnival has disputed origins, but many agree that these festivities began in the 18e century, in honor of sailors leaving for Iceland. Today, it is part of the identity of the North. With more than 50,000 visitors a day, taking part in the Carnival of Dunkirk means entering the marvelous universe of bands.

Every day, its Band, its city, its heckling and its mascots! These bands of revelers, who parade behind the marching bands during the parades, are real institutions.

La Bande de Bergues takes place every year on the Sunday following mid-Lent. To enjoy the hospitality of the “Berguenards” and their magnificent red umbrellas, come and visit Bergues and its famous belfry on March 19.

2- Montargis

Every year, it’s the same ritual: to celebrate the end of winter with great fanfare, carnivals are springing up all over France! Discover the Venetian Carnival of Montargis, as well as the planned entertainment program (cavalcades, corsos, parades and other processions, entertainment for children, handing over of the keys to the city to the King of Carnival).

Animations intended to promote the “Venice of Gatinais” to a large public, referring to the festive theme of the Venice carnival are in preparation for this year.

3- The Masquerades of Clisson

This year, the city is doing everything possible to set up a beautiful fourth edition of the Clisson Mascarades. This unmissable event for Venetian costumes from France will be back for a magical weekend from May 20 to 22. The Italian atmosphere of the city of Clisson will once again be honored by the parades and shows offered throughout the weekend.

On the program: costumes, concerts, shows, exhibitions, not to mention the farmers’ market which will delight the taste buds throughout the weekend.

4- Granville

With more than 130,000 visitors per year, the Granville carnival is the most famous in the west of France. It is an integral part of the local culture, even being listed as UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage since 2016.

First held over a century ago in honor of cod fishers about to set sail for Newfoundland, which has grown in popularity over the years, a charity float was integrated into the festivities from 1875 and collected funds for the poorest. This tradition is still relevant today.

Another carnival tradition is called “intrigues”. This custom takes place only on Tuesday evening, at the end of the festivities. For a few hours, intriguers roam the city, a good-natured way to allow, with impunity, to exteriorize all the resentments accumulated during the year.

The Granville carnival will take place from February 17 to 21.

5- The Venetian carnival of Mehun-sur-Yèvre

For the thirteenth consecutive year, Mehun-sur-Yèvre, in the Cher department, will organize its Venetian carnival on April 22 and 23.
On the program, parades, processions, parades, music, shows and masks… The center of the city will be invaded by an atmosphere worthy of the famous Venice carnival!
Il Gruppo di Venezia and 140 participants will walk down the main street to then wander freely through the beautiful gardens of the Duke of Berry, to the delight of their spectators and the lenses of the photographers specially invited for the occasion.
The opportunity to come and discover the charms of Berry and the atmosphere of one of the most legendary carnivals in Latin culture!
Come to Mehun-sur-Yèvre on the weekend of April 22 to make the most of the festivities!

6- Limoux

To end on a high note, let’s talk about the Carnival of Limoux, in Occitanie, considered to be the longest in the world! It extends from Christmas until Holy Week. The revelers parade every weekend in the city. Called Goudils, they parade dressed in the colors of the city’s 25 Bands. It is traditionally opened by the Band of Millers since the XIVe century, they are recognizable by their white masks and giant whips. Today, this costume has become the traditional carnival disguise.

The Carnival of Limoux is distinguished from the others by the absence of a parade of floats and other cavalcades. Thus, since 2009, Limoux has been keen to introduce people to the “Carnavals du Monde”. This is a big parade where groups from all continents meet. The carnival runs until March 26!

More info on www.plusbeauxdetours.com

Catherine Mills Avatar