Monday, February 5, 2007
Carnaval in Limoux
What a better de-stresser from house-hunting than to head over to Limoux for the annual Fecos, or Carnaval? From January 17 to March 7, 2007, in the Place de la Republic, His Majesty the King of the Carnaval will preside over the proceedings. Every weekend there will be more and more parades in the main square. Masked pierrots accompanied by musicians following and playing for them make their way through the tunnel of spectators. They stop at each cafe along the square, enter and entertain and/or annoy the customers. Confetti forming snow-like drifts is strewn about the square. The pierrots wear clown-like uniforms, the colors strikingly bright even on gloomy days. The weekend events occur at 11am, 4:30pm and 10pm both Saturday and Sunday until Easter. The bands playing take turns, but each is apparently distinguishable by its distinctive colors. Entertainers also sport carabenas, the long flexible decorative wands. Hundreds of people turn out the Sunday morning we arrive. Vendors selling beignets and honey, little girls riding the carousel, elderly ladies wearing their finest, and the sun streaming down. Life is good!
Limoux is also famous for another reason---Blanquette. As the story goes, Dom Perignon was making his way through the Limoux area and happened to stop and was treated to a taste of a delightfully effervescent drink. He was so taken by it that he immediately returned to Champagne and reproduced the "recipe" to create what we now know as champagne. Where the fable ends and the truth begins is up to the imagination. It all depends upon whom you ask, and how much you've had to drink.