Carnival of Granville


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Inscribed in 2016 (11.COM) on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity

© Comité d'organisation du carnaval de Granville

The Carnival of Granville is a four-day celebration that takes place in the lead up to Shrove Tuesday involving members of the community and nearby communes. Opening with the mayor handing the keys to King Carnival (a papier mache figure), it begins with a series of float processions interspersed with marching bands. The floats, about 40 in total, often take a humorous look at current events, politics and celebrities and involve the work of 2,500 ‘carnivalists’ who spend six months creating them, as well as smaller modules that also feature. Each ‘carnivalist’ is part of a committee representing an area of the town or a group of friends, colleagues or families involved. Local departments also assist, constructing some of the floats and contributing to the overall logistics. Social balls for different age groups are held, as well as a confetti battle in the town square. The festivities finish with a ‘night of intrigues’ when carnival-goers disguised in costume joke with loved ones or settle scores with impunity. Finally, the king is sentenced and cremated in the port. Attracting 100,000 spectators annually, the Carnival of Granville contributes to community unity and a sense of belonging. Associated knowledge is transmitted within families and committees.