Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Aix-en-Provence Carnaval 2012

This weekend we went to the Aix-en-Provence Carnaval (where I took way too many photos).

Last year was a blast and I'm happy to report this year didn't disappoint either.

We tried to get the same viewing spot as before on the grass around the large Rotonde fountain, but the whole thing had been decorated with fabric and cushions and fenced off:

Feather-filled pillows around the Rotonde Fountain at the 2012 Aix-en-Provence Carnaval, France

With some interesting-looking machines placed in the basin:

Confetti and silly string at the Aix-en-Provence Carnaval

The usual pre-parade festivities were in full swing - namely confetti:


And of course silly string:

Confetti and silly string at the Carnaval in Aix-en-Provence, France

This year's theme was La Fabrique de Rêves or The Dream Factory - explained in the literature as everything to do with the night: the real-life, the cabaret, psychedelic night parties (!), dreams, nightmares, angels and demons.

A lot of stuff to cover and they did that and more!

We started with these harbingers of doom:


Then progressed to the Moulin Rouge:


The guy driving the tractor pulling the cabaret float cracked me up:

grumble, why do I always have to pull the float with the guys dressed up as girls?

Next came the shoe cars:


Pushed by these guys. No VPL here as they're all wearing thongs (Bada-BOOM!)


I have no idea what this is all about:


The mister remarked he must be a bike rider.

Toight like a toiger

Some of the psychedelic party I suspect:


No idea:


I think this fellow represented bedtime stories:


His head is made of books:


This percussion band was one of about four playing throughout the parade. (Does percussion include drums? I can never remember. There were drums and things you shake and things you bang with gongs. That's my technical analysis.)

Colourful costumes at the Aix-en-Provence Carnaval, France

Confetti canons!!


Another big eye, this time in slippers with boxing gloves and angel wings. Still a mystery.


This float was really well made:

Dragon floats at the Carnaval in Aix-en-Provence, France

Great attention to detail. Look at those teeth!

Dragon teeth at the Carnaval in Aix-en-Provence, France

A man-eating tree:


And all his friends


Caged angel or demon?


Isn't confetti in your beard just the worst?

A bearded lady at the Carnaval in Aix-en-Provence, France

More angels:


The Sun King in all his glory (great use for left over gift bows/ribbon - make a wig!)


I think these ladies represented the fires of hell. Or they were advertising KFC Zingers.


Like last year, the floats paused for a while at the Rotonde fountain. The bands were all playing and everyone crowded around to see what the grande finale would be.




Feather explosion at the Carnaval in Aix-en-Provence, France


Raining feathers at the Carnaval in Aix-en-Provence, France

And more feathers!

For the love of poultry, won't someone think of the chickens? Sob.

The pillows (full of feathers) were all thrown into the crowd to encourage a full-on feather brawl!


I only put this one in because I love what King Louis is up to in the background:


This was after we pulled most of the feathers out. We lost him for a while there:


Honestly, it was like nothing I've ever seen before - the mess was spectacular and I have no idea how they cleaned it up. How on earth will they top this next year?


There will be feathers floating through Aix until next Carnaval I suspect. (I wish I'd taken a photo of the kids making feather angels - you know, like snow angels, but in the feathers.)

Confetti canons at the Carnaval in Aix-en-Provence, France

Lots of photos, but I hoped to make you feel like you were there without having to leave your chair or fish feathers out of your bra! 


Ali said...

I wouldn't have guessed what half those floats/people were dressed as. A very interesting parade... Do festivals happen often there? It seems like you're heading to a different one every week.

deedee said...

Wow! I think I'll come look for stray feathers tomorrow :)

fiberchick said...

Oh how wonderful! Great shots...

Shanna said...

How super fun!!! And your pics are amazing! I'm sure the kids just loved it!!

Michelle said...

I love your Carnival pictures! These are great! Thanks for sharing them!

Katie said...

I love the pictures you show. I really get a sense of the FUN! Thank you for sharing.

Mem said...

One of your photos, the last one, looks like a Jackson Pollack...really great!

Betty said...

Great! Loved it! Thank you very much (as my chair is very comfy)
Feathers! Really great

mimi said...

Just came across your Blog and I love it!! I've always had a thing for Provence, you're so lucky to be there. The photos of the Carnaval were outstanding! The last one of confetti could be an impressionist painting or a quilt! I think I'll have to at least save it and perhaps blow it up into a poster. Can't wait to read your past posts and look forward to reading more! Great job, y'all! From a quilter in West (by GAWD!) Virginia, USA! (I think you should be able to see my email from my subscription, but if not it's sfwatson48@yahoo.com or sfwatson48@gmail.com )

Cathy Hetzel said...

What a fantastic day.....always love reading your blog......you go to so many beautiful places.......

Katy Cameron said...

Oh wow, that looks fab! And to think, my mum always thought Aix was boring ;o)

Susan said...

They love a parade in France, don't they! Fabulous photos as usual Kirsty! And those feathers- incredible! That would have caused a riot here!

Marg said...

Thank you so much, that was fabulous. Psychedelic night parties sounds interesting, I wonder who is on what when they think up the theme. Hope you've fished out all the stray feathers in everyone's underwear.
I agree, that last photo is amazing.

**Anne** said...

This looks like the most fantastic day Kirsty. Love the street theatre side of it, something the French do well. I'll be looking for feathers when I come through Aix-en-Provence in late May. :)
Anne xx

michelle said...

wow, puts madis gras to shame. love that little chicken baby. thanks god the girls weren't sitting with me though, they would have been so traumatised by the sight of all of those feathers exploding out of the feather machines. and who knew there was such a thing as a feather spewing machine?

Poppyprint said...

I wish we'd have been there for that!! What a ridiculous spectacle. I just love your commentary...no idea...still no idea. Ixnay on the feathers in the bra, though. no thanks! Those costumes, the floats, all of it is just CRAZY. Thanks for sharing.

verobirdie said...

I had no idea it was such fun! Thanks for sharing

Salley said...

Any chance that monster with the teeth... frightened away the Tooth Fairy?

Anonymous said...

They sure know how to put on a great carnaval in Europe. We went to one in Binche - french speaking part of Belgium - last year. Amazing!

Liza in Ann Arbor said...

I'm showing this to my French III class. I think they'll be fascinated! Beautiful pix, comme d'habitude.

Eva said...

Wow! Love the bizarre costumes, but my favourite are the sheep! So simple, but I'd never thought of it myself! Plus, they make me smile.

The feather waste is really quite sad ... on the other hand it really must have been spectacular.

Now I can't get the image out of my head that resulted from imagining what King Louis did with his leftover gift ribbon ... :-P

Kirsty @ Bonjour Quilts said...

Merci Liza!

Sara Louise said...

I want to go! Next year I'm definitely making my way down to Aix for Carnaval... and there better be feathers!! x

ThirdMargaret said...

Spectacular!!! I am glad the Carnaval didn't disappoint! Thank you so much for sharing.

AL said...

Simply wonderful Kirsty...I want to go to a fete like this! You have me in fits of laughter here with the pictures and comments...King Louis tops it all!

Michel said...

I never even knew there is a Carnaval in Aix even though we have cousins who live there and we go often. I don't think I have ever seen so many feathers or confetti. Wow!

Shontelle said...

I agree, confetti in your beard is a real bitch! Love the photos especially the flashing Sun King. Gold! Some of those floats were totally bizarre. Thanks for all the photos.

Dianne said...

What fun!!! At least the feathers are bio-degradable, even if they are a nuisance when caught in one's bra!!!

Anonymous said...

spectacular!! Helen

Genie -- Paris and Beyond said...

I need to read more about French celebrations... I thought that all the fun was around the Mardi Gras carnival, but how much better to spread it out. The creativity here is just spectacular with an over-the-top flair!

I do wish that you had captured the "feather angels" but you could recreate at home (haha)!

Virginia said...

My mouth is still hanging open. I will say I'm pretty sure there were some psychedelic drugs consumed by many of the participants. I admire your restraint with the photos. I'd have loaded the blog up with hundreds. What a great day you all had. Only in France is all I can say!

Carole said...

Nice post. Provence is on my list of Top Ten Places I Have Visited

Tammy said...

Thanks for the post! We live near Aix and only managed to make it in time to see feathers flying (A LOT of feathers). I'm happy to see the parts we missed. :)

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