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Carnival de Nice

Mardi Gras on the French Riviera

Every year in late winter thousands of tourists descend on Nice for two weeks of parades, fireworks and sporting events at the Carnival de Nice. It's a crazy time on the Côte d'Azur, even busier in terms of numbers than the summer months; restaurants are full, people are strolling along the sea promenade, flowers are strewn through the streets during the Bataille des Fleurs parade, and for a moment you forget that winter is still here for a while. 

Of course, the origins of all Mardi Gras carnivals is to mark the beginning of the Catholic Lenten season, meant to be a time of fasting and abstinence, a time to become "holier than thou are art" in preparation for Easter. Ergo, the pre-lenten festivals and carnivals around the world at this time are full of sinful abandon, a time to show off some flesh, stay up all night, drink and carouse, and generally sin, sin, sin.' However, by Brazilian standards, the Nice Carnival is tame, and more family-oriented, so don't worry about bringing your children with you.

Nice Carnival 2016 is in full swing now, from February 13 - 28. It's a great time to visit Nice, and will definitely help you to get rid of the winter blues.


For more ideas on traveling to Nice and the Côte d'Azur, see The Beginner's Guide to the French Riviera available on Amazon:


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