French Riviera attracts thousands of tourists to the South of France to enjoy beautiful seascapes and mild climate. At the same time, this is a stage of non-stop celebrations, concerts and shows.

Among most popular events in French Riviera is the Annual Nice Carnival.

The local commune is getting ready in advance for this amazing event.

French Riviera Carnival in Nice is a well planned performance, involving dancers, artists and musicians from France and other parts of the world.

Nice Carnival  is not only a show for entertainment, it illuminates hot topics, about politics, ecology, etc. But all is done with a brilliant positive sense of humor.

During French Riviera Carnival celebrations various colorful processions are held daily in Nice.

Sport has been the theme of one of the recent Carnivals in the South of France. Great ideas to populate active style of life were presented with fun:

Nice Carnival

Carnival in Nice is the process where you can actively participate.

Follow the schedule of French Riviera Carnival and you can take part in swimming competition (yes, in February 🙂 !), or try boating for example.

Additionally there are special programs for children with drawing, music entertainments and other interesting activities.

French Riviera Carnival in Nice

A more detailed updated program can be found at the official website of the Carnival in Nice.

Most interesting facts from the history of Nice Carnival

Tradition of arranging carnivals goes back to pagan times, when people celebrated spring and farewell of winter.

Since it was an important event people, were getting ready in advance investing time and efforts to make the event memorable.

During ancient times people were wearing the skins of animals as costumes for the show. This is why nowadays in many costumes elements of flowers, fruits, vegetables and other pieces related to nature are preserved.

The first record of Carnival in Nice is dated 1294, when the Lord of Provence Charles of Anjou II came to Nice. Because of the visit of such important guest the Governors of the cities arranged special celebration on this occasion.

Numerous balls, fire shows, music players, circus events and other entertainments were organized in Nice then.

Following the tradition of carnivals people choose the King and the Queen.

The church had a different attitude to the glamorous and vivid event and could not approve such celebration, which was a call to life.

Nevertheless the tradition of holding Carnival continued during centuries.

In XIV and XV centuries Carnival was a national holiday and was organized mainly in the rural areas.

In the epoch of Renaissance things changed and Carnivals came to the streets of the cities.

In XVIIIth century Carnival of Venice impacted traditions of having carnivals in France.

As a result following the latest trends the clothes and decorations became more bright and colorful.

In the second part of XIXth century Nice becomes the capital of winter holidays.

A lot of celebrities start vising Nice for the period of winter months as escape from cold season.

Of course Le Cours de Saleya becomes the main point of holding Carnivals in Nice.

1873 was marked in the history of the city as a year when Committee of holidays was created in order to help organizing events and attract more visitors.

Thanks to the efforts of the Committee, Carnival was “reborn” and its agenda became more variable, with various competitions and masquerades.

The two famous artists of Nice contributed to the development of Carnival celebrations: Alexis Mossa and his son Gustav – Adolf Mossa.

Alexis created the first sketches, which were used as models for the Carnival in Nice.

He made his input to bring more charm, fantastic decorations and carnival costumes. Moss was a decorator and playwright.
These two features found reflection in the style of the Carnival in Nice.
Special satire and endless fantasy of the images are the outcomes of his work and inspiration.

As a result on the 14th of February in 1882 citizens of Nice saw marvelous figure of the King of Carnivals, moving round the city with the supporters.

Special feature of the Carnival in French Riviera is change of theme. It is selected in advance and is devoted a specific burning topic.

It also bears though some satiric attitude to the global events and often is connected with the political life of the European countries.

Now it has been about 30 years from the moment of creation of Committee under the Heading of the President.

They select the Queen of the Carnival and the bride of Prince. The Queen opens the Battle of Flowers and presents this celebration at the official openings.

In 2000 the theme of Nice Carnival was Education. Famous Le Monde newspaper was the initiator.

It was an interesting event, involving 2000 school children, who were invited to participate.

In 2002 the main theme of Nice Carnival was the introduction of new currency – EURO. The main hero was King Euroza.

From 2004 till 2008 due to repairs of the central square of the city the celebrations were moved to Promenades des Angles. In 2009, following old traditions, Carnival returns to Massena Square (La Massen Square).

The square changes its appearance for this particular event totally: lots of screens and seats for the spectaculars are brought here to view the show.

The history of Carnival celebrations changed during different periods and times.

Now this is an interesting show, which not only entertains but also reflects the problems and raises questions in its own, satiric manner.

Do not miss the opportunity to see the Battle of Flowers in Nice, which is a part of the program of Annual Carnival.

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