Carnival - a hot celebration in Paris!

After spending three years in Trinidad, where Carnival is a festive season that lasts a couple of months rather than a couple of days, Stephane and I were anxious to see what it looks like in Paris. As it was the French planters who introduced this celebration to the Trinidadians when they first settled on the Caribbean island in 1783, we wondered if there would also be huge masquerade bands of people dressed in skimpy costumes, steelbands playing the latest calypso tunes and lots of "Carnival babies" born nine months after the revelry. Marking the parade route on a map, we hurried over to the 10th arrondissement to join the fun yesterday afternoon.

Since it was much colder than we had expected, we grabbed a window seat in a cozy cafe on Rue du Fauburg du Temple. Just as we were preparing to order something hot to drink, an adorable little clown in pink boots appeared and I suggested that we wait outside so as to not miss any of the action. While the minutes ticked by without a sequined costume in sight, Stephane made frequent forays into the McDonald's across the street to warm up and to keep me supplied with macarons, cappuccino and hot chocolate topped with a miniature mountain of whipped cream. After more time passed, Stephane and I finally sought refuge in the McDonald's and shared a Big Mac with fries.

With bulging bellies, we were just about ready to give up and go home when we heard the first strains of drumbeats and followed a cute little butterfly to the parade, like moths towards a hot flame. We both agreed afterwards that it was well worth the wait.

As always, click on any of the photos to enlarge.

One of the beer carts.


  1. good morning

    very festive parade--a good time in a cold climate. I've not really attended a Carnival parade, never been to NoLA or Rio. I think I would prefer it in the hot weather though. And where are the beads? Anything like that?

  2. There was confetti but there weren't any beads yesterday. I can't remember there being beads in Trinidad either, although I may be wrong. You would love seeing the costumes in Trinidad, Joseph. Some of them are amazing. Stephane and I joined a "mas" band one year, which is a lot funner than watching from the sidelines. We were in Peter Minshall's, "The Lost Tribe". Minshall is also famous for having helped design the opening ceremonies for several of the Olympic Games (Barcelona, Atlanta and Salt Lake City).

  3. What a visual treat! Looks like a lot of fun. Glad you guys stuck it out.

    1. Me, too! It was lots of fun watching how happy all of the revelers were.

  4. This is incredible. I didn't know such a thing existed in Gay Par-ee!

    I'm glad Stephane kept you warm with hot cocoa and macarons, you two are troopers. It looks like you had a good time, hopefully I'll be able to check this out next year.

    Missing Paris life.. :*)

  5. It would be worth checking out next year, although it's always more fun to be in one of bands than standing on the sidelines. They paraded through 5 arrondissements over a period of 6 hours. That's quite a workout for a Sunday afternoon!

    Enjoy yourself in CA - you'll be back in Paris before you know it. On your first day back, I'm sure that I'll be able to recognize you in the Marais because you'll be the one with the tan, flip-flops and colorful clothes!

  6. Fabulous, but wait till you see Boussac's parade ...
    OK, we don't have one :-( There's a lot of things that haven't made it from Paris to Creuse yet, and sadly this is on that list.
    However, we'll be going wild with pancakes tonight, so long as I can find an unfrozen egg. The cold has come back for a last fling here.


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