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-only 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 - carnaval features 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