Ash Wednesday is in a few days, preceded by Pancake Tuesday - also called Fat Tuesday or Mardi Gras. In Bordeaux, to celebrate the occasion, there was a big parade this afternoon - Carnaval des Deux Rives (Carnival of the Two Banks). It starts on one side of the river and finishes on the other.
I've never been to a parade like it before. At home, the people at the parade can be split into two groups - the ones in the parade and the spectators. If you're a spectator, then you watch the parade and occasionally clap. Today, I didn't clap at all - but it was a hoot!
Waiting for the parade to start
Lots of people attending the parade, including most of the kids, wore costumes. We brought our Viking and Helmet Head. We bought some balloons, bags of confetti and, eventually, a couple of those spray bottles that shoot out strings of foam. The spectators throw confetti and shoot foam at the people in the parade - and each other.
Viking defending himself from neighbouring confetti thrower
A short battle ensued
This was a huge float
Fiacra and Ailbhe spent most of their time throwing confetti (and scooping it up again). Finian found it loud and frightening. After a while, Fiona took him off to a cafe for a bit of peace. Then the parade ended and we couldn't find each other. I didn't have my phone - since I wasn't expecting any calls - so we couldn't meet up until we got home. That was quite a while later since we hunted for each other and then had to walk three stops back along the tram to get to where it was running, get on, get off and walk home.