Limoux Carnival 4

Carnaval de Limoux – The longest running carnival in the world, is an annual festival held in Limoux, Languedoc-Roussillon, France. It takes place for three months on the weekends between January and Mardi Gras .

The annual carnival is a tradition that has been followed for centuries, where over a series of Saturdays and Sundays different masked and costumes “guilds” parade through the town three times a day playing music, singing songs and playing pranks (all conducted in the ancient Occitan language). The ostensible purpose of the Carnival is to make fun of society and its rules; thus each guild takes turn in leading the morning parade which is devoted to mocking local, national or international news stories that have occurred during the year. The torch lit evening procession, however, is more sombre and mystical and is definitely an incredible sight for the uninitiated!

Every year, on the second Sunday before Easter at ten o’clock in the evening, an ancient ritual takes place in Limoux’s main square: the culmination of ten weeks of festival. His Majesty King Carnival is being burnt at the stake. La Nuit de la Blanquette! Masked figures dressed in baggy tunics and pantaloons, waving long willowy wands – les carabenas – in their gloved hands, weave a slow, rhythmic dance round the funeral pyre. Their arms move this way and that above their heads. They are bemoaning in the traditional language of the region, Occitan, the execution of their king, who has been judged and condemned. Sa Majesté Carnaval, in reality a straw mannequin or guy, is the scapegoat who must take the blame for all the ‘sins’ committed during carnival.
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Limoux Carnival, France
Photographer:
© Images that go BAM, Brent Alexander McTavish
Limoux Carnival 4

Limoux Carnival 4

Carnaval de Limoux – The longest running carnival in the world, is an annual festival held in Limoux, Languedoc-Roussillon, France. It takes place for three months on the weekends between January and Mardi Gras .

The annual carnival is a tradition that has been followed for centuries, where over a series of Saturdays and Sundays different masked and costumes “guilds” parade through the town three times a day playing music, singing songs and playing pranks (all conducted in the ancient Occitan language). The ostensible purpose of the Carnival is to make fun of society and its rules; thus each guild takes turn in leading the morning parade which is devoted to mocking local, national or international news stories that have occurred during the year. The torch lit evening procession, however, is more sombre and mystical and is definitely an incredible sight for the uninitiated!

Every year, on the second Sunday before Easter at ten o’clock in the evening, an ancient ritual takes place in Limoux’s main square: the culmination of ten weeks of festival. His Majesty King Carnival is being burnt at the stake. La Nuit de la Blanquette! Masked figures dressed in baggy tunics and pantaloons, waving long willowy wands – les carabenas – in their gloved hands, weave a slow, rhythmic dance round the funeral pyre. Their arms move this way and that above their heads. They are bemoaning in the traditional language of the region, Occitan, the execution of their king, who has been judged and condemned. Sa Majesté Carnaval, in reality a straw mannequin or guy, is the scapegoat who must take the blame for all the ‘sins’ committed during carnival.
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Limoux Carnival, France
Photographer:
© Images that go BAM, Brent Alexander McTavish