With news that I had a long weekend ahead I looked for events on couchsurfing. I quickly located a Carnivalle in the North of France. After finding a French speaking friend (YAY Bertold) we stuck out our thumbs and hitched down to France
Several cities later (including a ride in an ambulance) we ended up in a small city in the South of Belgium. One quick bus ride later and we met our host in Dunkirk and joined other couchsurfers in a local bar.
Now, in Dunkirk the festival lasts THREE MONTHS! Both in this small fisherman town and in other local cities. We went for this one to experience Band of Malo (more on that later).
This is a festival of reversal so be prepared for lots of men in women's dresses and women in costume (somne dressing as men, but most just wearing extreme colors and having fun!). At the bar they play traditional carnival songs and the surfers practiced linking arms and dancing.
This is us by Reuze Papa (he's a giant who the town people all love). He can be seen in the parades usually preceeded by a drum major dressed as an Imperial grenadier and the costumed carnavaleux, who carry coloured umbrellas and sing carnival songs.
After a busy night we rested up and the next day went site seeing around Dunkirk. You can see the stutue of Jean the pirate, the church and a big boat.
But onto more Carnivalle!
The "Bande de Malo" is one of the greatest moment of the Carnaval of Dunkerque, it begins around 3 pm.
All people who participate are called "carnavaleux" (see my French rocks it), they all walk together on the streets arm in arm singing random songs in French (or as I do not speak French ranodmly la-la-laing), and following the musicians with their yellow coats.
The most impressive moment is the "chahut": the fifes play, the first ligns of "carnavaleux" stop walking and basically its like a weird game of tug of war, you try to push forward and everyone else pushes back.
In the end there's a circle of death...(it starts at 1:26 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKHp2azHk0E). It looks really easy, and yet I almost died...my shoe was also trashed over the weekend.
Oh and right before the circle of death in the video they are throwing fish out the window at you....I didn't catch one this time, but maybe next year :)
Well, I am living abroad...yet again. After Singapore, Spain, Turkey, Korea the Netherlands (and returning to Spain for a Masters) I've unpacked my backpack a little closer to home in Mexico. I live in Culiacan where I am trying my hand at teaching English to University and high school students. Below you'll find random updates as I go to festivals, explore my city or just feel like sharing a random story.