It's that time of year again when our small town becomes a drift of confetti every Saturday and Sunday. From January for three months the Carnaval is king - the longest carnaval in the world but nothing like Rio . . . forget the sequinned/ flesh-revealing women and thudding rhythm, this is somewhat different: satin costumes, an actually rather elegant dance (when performed correctly) and live music, featuring brass of all sorts - trumpets, sousaphones, trombones, etc and bass drum/snare.
As 'étrangers (foreigners) we did both managed to infiltrate a group and stayed with them for eight years, practising, painting scenery, working out the theme for the morning 'slot' and eating/drinking way too much on the weekend of our 'Sorti' - performance.
After we left a few years back due to other time commitments, I rather forgot the goings on in the town square, occasionally nipping down to see what new costume might have been decided on, or quaffing a quick blanquette and having confetti stuffed down my neck - as is the tradition.
Yesterday, although it was raining and viley cold, we went down to see what the 'Las Femnas' (women's group) had come up with costume-wise - not overly exciting, a sort of tulle, grey/pink affair and a lot tamer than their usual cash-splurge outfits but it was a great atmosphere. We got confettied, were invited to squeeze plastic breasts (a lot of these, and always the men who wear them) and whapped with fish and leeks. Ah, just like old times.
Le pont Neuf with neon carnaval mask