Saturday, 5 March 2011

Carnival Time

This weekend is Carnival, celebrated throughout the Catholic Christian world. Everyone is having their last partying fling culminating in Mardi Gras (Tuesday) and then into the fast of Lent starting on Wednesday. Being rather practical the French have an interesting approach to carnival, ie if one village is celebrating this weekend, we will have our party next weekend so we can have two parties even if that does push the second one into Lent - somewhat missing the point I think. I discussed this anomaly with a friend of ours a couple of years ago and she replied that is was in fact allowed to have your carnival celebrations any time up to half way through Lent – very flexible indeed!

Our first Carnival parade was in Chalon in 2006 when we went out in freezing weather to see it, whilst it was quite fun, it was so cold we didn’t stay long. This year the weather was great, still a bit cold but no rain and no frozen feet whilst waiting for the parade. Almost all the same people were there as 5 years ago, they were just in different costumes, but it was fun none the less and we enjoyed our afternoon out.

Chalon-sur-Sâone 2006
Chalon-sur-Sâone 2011

Our second ever carnival was in Cormatin in 2007. It is scheduled so as not to clash with the parade in Chalon (no doubt at the request of the Chalon committee who are afraid it would take away too many spectators) and its timing can vary from two weeks before lent to a couple of weeks into lent, which was the case when we saw the parade in 2007. To make sure we didn’t have problems parking, we walked into town to have lunch before the parade which was due at 2 o’clock. Unfortunately we were a week early, so we had to go back the next week, but at least it gave us two lunches at La Terasse! On the second visit, after lunch, we strolled down to Café de la Poste to bag a road-side table to make sure we had a good view and we waited, and waited, and waited. At about 3 o’clock and getting rather cold, we were still the only spectators waiting in anticipation so I nipped across the road to check one of the posters to make sure we were there on the right day and yes indeed the parade was due and there it was coming down the road ! I will end my description here as my inadequate words cannot do it justice.
Cormatin 2007

We missed the parade this year.

La Tuilerie Website

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