On Sunday, we went to the Carnival of Noirmont.
We were pleasantly surprised to find out that the cortège (procession) makes two rounds through the streets of Le Noirmont. At the tail of the parade was the beginning.
We got to watch the carnival procession all over again.
Even if my feet were frozen solid it was worth it because of the kids faces.
There were some things that were different from parades and carnivals I have seen the the States and Strasbourg. In this carnival procession some of the participates carried around warm drinks (non-alcoholic) to offer to the spectators. The whole atmosphere was warm and relaxed. There was much interaction between the crowd and the procession. I saw members of the crowd stealing confetti from the floats to throw on the procession members and members of the procession stopping to chat and joke with people they knew in the crowd.
It was all very informal and festive!
I have to explain a little about the next two photos.
On February the 2nd, Savages covered in pine tree branches with faces painted black and cow bells hanging from around their necks took the city of Le Noirmont by storm. They ran ringing their cow bells and tooting on a flute chasing and capturing all the young ladies they could find. Once captured the women were thrown into the city fountain.
This tradition marks the beginning of Carimentran, the Carnival of Noirmont. Afterwards, the mayor relinquishes the city keys to these “hommes des bois”. (Read article in French) (See photo gallary of the savages of Noirmont)
The Savages were present at the parade. Young women were not safe no matter where they hid in the crowd. The savages would zig zag throughout the crowd and drag one unwilling woman after another to a handmade float made into a fountain and throw her into it.
It was full of confetti which would cover the women from head to toe.
When Vilay saw the savages close to where we were standing he pulled me closer to him afraid they would try to capture me along with the other women. I had to laugh because of the three children clinging to my legs. I am sure I was safe even without my man beside me!