Mardi Gras On 28th February
Limousin Celebrates Mardi Gras
All of France celebrates Mardi Gras but my memories of it are particularly strong in the Limousin. All the young children look forward to this day when they can get rid of the troubles of winter. They make a huge Mardi Gras effigy in readiness for lighting it on the bonfire, but this is the end treat of the day. Initially, dressed in all kinds of fancy dress they parade through all the little streets and lanes of the hamlet or village where the elderly occupants are usually waiting to welcome them into their gardens with tempting refreshments.
Bonfire Site With Singing And Dancing
Once the parade is over everyone ends up at the bonfire site where there is much singing and dancing before the fire is lit. As the fire slowly crackles into life, beginning to burn the toes of the effigy of winter the children shout out all the things about winter that they have hated. “Goodbye to the wind that broke our gate”. “Goodbye to my grandmother’s bad cough”. “Goodbye to wet days spent indoors”. “Goodbye to cold fingers when I collect the eggs”. and so on.
Just writing this makes me realise how much I miss my property in Limousin!