🇺🇸 What Will You Be Wearing for the French Carnival?

Cities Events 2018

Paris – February 11th: the parade departs from Place Gambetta.

Nice – February 17th to March 8th. Events in various locations in the city. See Full program here.

Strasbourg – March 11th.

Nantes – April 8th. Departs from Cours Saint-André

Angers – April 15th. Departs from the Lac de Maine

French Culture on Display

Brazilians are famous for one of the greatest shows on Earth — the Rio de Janeiro celebration of Carnival. But with so much attention paid to the festivities in Brazil, did you know that on the other side of the world is another country who loves to host grandiose carnivals? Yes, we’re talking about France.

The carnival parades take you into a journey through what French culture has to offer. The Nice Carnival Parade spans two weeks, bringing over one million French party-goers and foreign Francophiles to the city. Nice has kept this celebration alive for more than seven centuries.

Whether big or small, festivals bring a hands-on, real-life learning you won’t otherwise find anywhere else. From joining in on the excitement with locals to exploring the delights of French street food and cuisine, you’ll experience the language in a spectacular way. Discover the French way of dressing up!

You can’t complete your French language learning without knowing its culture. Whether it’s about music, arts or food, carnivals open up the authenticity of France. Sing and dance in French. Take a stroll along the streets, stopping into cafes. Enjoy the architecture and laid-back lifestyle. And of course, don’t miss out on the traditional French cuisine — if food doesn’t tell you a lot about French culture, it’ll certainly entice you to stick around for a second helping.

What Will You Be Wearing?

Children like to dress up as chevaliers and fées, (horsemen and fairies) but also in indiens and cowboys (do I need to translate 🤠 ?). It is also popular to dress up as characters from the commedia dell’arte, which includes Harlequin, Pierrot and Colombine, and all sorts of clowns.

Adults dress up to! They like to be creative, and you will often meet entire groups of friends wearing together the same costume, or costumes that are variations on a common topic. For instance, a group of friends will wear costumers of Mario Bros characters, or they will all dress up like bugs, etc.

Carnaval dans les rues de Paris

Encore à Paris – Montmartre, cette fois

What Will We Be Eating ?

Des crêpes, naturally!

Life-changing Moments in the Streets

This is a perfect time to visit: it’s not everyday you get you enjoy King’s Cake while watching accordion players on stilts lead a procession down the boulevard in the north of France. Each city has its own culture du carnaval with its own background and history. Show them that you’re not just there to have a good time but also to immerse yourself in their culture.

You might just be surprised to find yourself immersed in helping schoolchildren prepare costumes while trying to convince yourself not to try more ganses du carnaval (deep-fried sweet pastries) while finding your way around the city by decorations alone. People are out, they’re excited, and you’re likely to enjoy plenty of French practice while satisfying your sweet tooth.

What is your favorite traditional French holiday? What will you be wearing for le carnaval? Tell us in the comments below and we may even feature you in our next post!

Written together with my friend and fellow online teacher, Eric from the Global School of English.

Author Léa Tirard-Hersant

Host of the Staircase

More posts by Léa Tirard-Hersant

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