Bataille des Fleurs - Carnaval de Nice 2013
Photos from the Battle of Flowers parade held as part of the Carnival celebration in Nice, France.
The most widely accepted etymology for the word "Carnival" is "carne levare" ("away with meat"). By the Middle Ages, the people of Nice, before fasting forty days according to the Catholic tradition of Lent, enjoyed rich, plentiful cuisine. The better to celebrate this time of merriment, all excesses were authorized. It was also a time for mocking everything and everybody at everyone's expense, behind masks, protected by disguises until Mardi Gras. The earliest mention of Carnival merrymaking in Nice goes back to 1294, when the Count of Provence Charles d'Anjou spent the "the joyous days of Carnival" in Nice. The tradition continues presently with a large festival held over three weeks on the streets of Nice.