Carnaval

Fetes & Festivities in the Pyrénées-Orientales/What's on and where..

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Gus Morris
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Carnaval

Post by Gus Morris »

I went to Argeles carnaval on Saturday night. For a moment I thought my timing was wrong. But no. They've changed the departure point as part of the post-Nice safety procedures. As ever a great show. Wonderful floats made by volunteers who gave many hours to their projects. Loads of spectators to urge them on.

Got me thinking. This is a part of France where tourism is of huge importance. Yet there are many great public spectacles that take place outside the main holiday season. The arrival of the three kings in Perpignan, Carnaval time, the Procession de la Sanch, Mondial du Vent, Bastille day , the Trobades Medievales, Patrimony day, Port Vendres open day, the Christmas fair in the Chateau Royale at Collioure, New Year's Eve fireworks. These are just the ones I've been to recently. There are many more.

We do rather tend to take what we have for granted. The climate, the scenery, the lifestyle. But in truth we are fortunate and maybe it does no harm to remember.

Gus
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Kate
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Post by Kate »

And all free! I'd say that makes us pretty lucky! And yes, speaking for myself, I know I do tend to take many of them for granted. Go once....then think I've seen it all.....but they're always a little different and great fun.
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Gus Morris
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Post by Gus Morris »

Kate wrote:And all free! I'd say that makes us pretty lucky! And yes, speaking for myself, I know I do tend to take many of them for granted. Go once....then think I've seen it all.....but they're always a little different and great fun.
I'm with you. It's many years since I lived in the UK. But I seem to remember that everything was so much more regimented. Outfits like the Round Table had moved in on many events. Last time I went to a match at Aime Giral (pre Nice) there was a full house and not a policeman in sight. These big events seem to just happen here with very little visible organisation. So relaxed. Or so it seems.

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martyn94
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Post by martyn94 »

Gus Morris wrote:
Kate wrote:And all free! I'd say that makes us pretty lucky! And yes, speaking for myself, I know I do tend to take many of them for granted. Go once....then think I've seen it all.....but they're always a little different and great fun.
I'm with you. It's many years since I lived in the UK. But I seem to remember that everything was so much more regimented. Outfits like the Round Table had moved in on many events. Last time I went to a match at Aime Giral (pre Nice) there was a full house and not a policeman in sight. These big events seem to just happen here with very little visible organisation. So relaxed. Or so it seems.

Gus
But then we did get Nice. It's a huge shame, but we now live in less innocent times. I noticed that quai Forgas in Port-Vendres (which is closed off for the Saturday market in high summer) was suddenly blocked off at either end by some rather flimsy vehicles of the Police Municipale the Saturday after Bastille day. And I guess it will be for the rest of my life: these things are only ever dialed up, and never relaxed. When I was just a slip of a lad, I used to use Downing Street as a route, on foot, to Charing Cross station: fat chance of ever doing that again.

On the other hand, in other parts of France, I've often been struck by how lucky our forefathers were in picking patron saints with ""fêtes patronales" at touristic times of year. Maybe too successful: you then have to dream up (or resurrect) other events if you want to extend the season.

And on the third hand, these things do not always run smoothly here. A small town near where I lived in Normandy used to have an annual Irish festival with some success, until the organizing committee split in two very bitterly. Then they had two on successive weekends, both a lemon, and latterly none: the Round Table might have managed it better.
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