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Bibendum, the Michelin Man, gets the finishing touch in preparation for to the Nice Carnival. The theme of the carnival this year is 'King of Gastronomy'. - Photo EPA
Final touches to culinary-themed floats before Nice Carnival.
THE French take their love for food to the streets of Nice in one of the biggest carnivals in the world on Feb 14. This year, the theme is “King of Gastronomy”, and the floats in the procession have been decorated with all things culinary.
The Nice Carnival goes on for over two weeks until Fat Tuesday, which falls on March 4, the day before the beginning of Lent, the period of fasting in the Christian calendar.
The Nice Carnival is the main winter event on the French Riviera. The carnival procession, comprising 18 floats, will work its way up to a crescendo of gigantic decorations on the Place Masséna.
As with previous years, these giant, colourful parades will take place day and night, with entertainment provided by over 1,000 musicians and dancers from across the world.
Being a Carnavalier is not a profession, but a passion or a vocation. The large workshop where these craftsmen work, called the “Maison du Carnaval” is transformed into a magical setting for several months.
Even if new procedures, techniques and materials have paved the way for the mechanisation, articulation and modernisation of elements, the basis for float and big head construction has remained true to its origins.
On the Promenade des Anglais, elegant “flower battles” are part of the carnival. Extravagantly dressed characters on the floats, decorated with the most stunning floral compositions, throw out all variety of flowers to the public.
According to the Nice carnival website, the first Flower Parade was held in 1876. From timid exchanges of flowers between the rich winter visitors’ decorated carriages, the practice has today developed into a prestigious show with 80,000 to 100,000 flowers showered on the enthusiastic crowd.
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Lifestyle, Carnival Nice, floats, King of Gastronomy, Nissarde Cooking label
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