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How we celebrate Mardi-Gras (Fat Tuesday) and Carnival in France

Hi everyone

Welcome to my channel French Possum.

What is French Possum?

It’s a video channel on which I publish videos in French with English subtitles every week on topics related to the French culture,

such as for instance the French gastronomy, traditions, History or current affairs.

Last week we talked about the “Chandeleur” (Candlemas) and the famous tradition of eating “crêpes” (French pancakes)

This week, let’s talk about “Mardi-Gras” (Fat Tuesday) and Carnival in France

which will give us the occasion to talk about “crêpes” again!

First of all, what is “Mardi-Gras”?

Well, according to the Christian tradition,

“Mardi-Gras” is the day on which we commemorate the end of the Epiphany period (when we eat King Cakes),

and this day precedes the start of a time of fasting, “Lent”.

On the day of “Mardi-Gras”, the French prepare donuts, “crêpes” (French pancakes) and waffles.

For recipes of Carnival donuts and “crêpes”, I invite you to check the links in the description below the video.

You’ll also find there links to children songs

as there are many French children songs about “Mardi-Gras”.

For instance, there is this one:

“Mardi-Gras don’t go, I’m making crêpes, I’m making crêpes. Mardi-Gras don’t go, I’m making crêpes and you’ll have some.”

Just like for the “Chandeleur” (Candlemas), there are many proverbs about “Mardi-Gras”, like this one

“if the moon is out on Mardi-Gras, we’ll hear thunder”.

In 2016, we will celebrate Mardi-Gras on Tuesday 9 February.

But beware, the date changes every year.

It’s at the time of “Mardi-Gras” that we also celebrate the Carnival.

In Latin, “Carnival” means “to remove the meat”, meaning “get ready for fasting during Lent”.

In France, it’s a good occasion to have fun and eat a lot!

During Carnival, children put on costumes and schools sometimes organize a parade or a show.

In French towns, many Carnival celebrations happen and they are all different.

One of the biggest Carnivals in the world is celebrated in the South of France, in Nice, and it lasts 2 weeks.

In particular, a flower battle happens at that time.

Several floats are decorated with flowers and from there, people throw thousands of regional flowers on the crowd.

The Carnival “Corso” (meaning the Carnival parade) happens in a strict order.

First comes the King, then the Queen, followed by the “Carnivalon” (their son) and then the “soufflerie” (blower) that blows confetti over the crowd.

Then come dancing groups as well as several floats usually decorated with big heads.

On the last day of Carnival, called “Funeral day”, we burn the King on a pyre or at sea to celebrate the end of winter.

Then there are fireworks.

Every year, a theme is chosen for the Carnival in Nice.

In 2016, it will be “King of Media”.

For more information on the Nice Carnival, I invite you to check the links below the video.

I have also included a few videos that show how the Carnival happens there.

Thanks a lot for watching this video, I hope you liked it.

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See you next week

Have a lovely day and Happy Carnival!

See you soon, bye bye.