At the start of winter vacation for the kiddos, we finally caught a parade in Paris: Carnaval de Paris, which has been celebrated since the Renaissance and is equivalent to the Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans or Rio de Janeiro. We waited a long time for its arrival into our neighbourhood and were about to go home at 18h00 when we finally saw the police cars clearing the way. It had started in the 20e arrondissement at 14h00 on a Sunday afternoon.
We saw a cow leading the parade [a reference to the parade also named “Promenade du Boeuf Gras” (=Fat Cow Parade) back in its history]. We saw a mix of brightly-coloured costumes from different countries, a few, weird, scary-looking dudes, and a lot of marching bands.
We only stayed for a half hour because my kids were hungry and cold so we missed most of the parade. But you have to give credit to those parade participants who have to walk several miles slowly (without washroom breaks), rain or shine, and look like they’re having fun. They only had one more hour to go before ending near l’Hotel de Ville… Parades are great for educating children about cultural history. Vivre la France!