Since 1604, a wild, ancient, bizarre, totally exuberant festival deluges Limoux for 3 months. Costumed pierrots and musicians break into song–and insults and gossip!–but since all is in Occitan, the Languedoc-Roussillon dialect, you won’t understand a thing!
On the final day, April 6, the carnival ends when the king is set on fire. (Don’t worry, we are no longer in medieval times, so he’s just a straw man 🙂
The magical city of Limoux is on the route of our CARCASSONNE TO THE COAST self-guided itinerary and this is the perfect time of year to pass through. Read here for more details: www.discoverfrance.com/tours/self-guided/bike/languedoc-carcassonne-to-the-coast
Nearly 30 bands of pierrots come dressed in different costumes, from one another, and also from one year to the next.
Some of the pierrots take inspiration from old Venetian operas.
The route of our Carcassonne to the Coast self-guided cycling trip starts in the fabulous fortified city of the medieval era and passes the gorgeous Hautes Corbières countryside and Cathar castles and Limoux before leading to the sandy beaches on the coast!
Some of the city’s famous sparkling white wine, from Château Rives-Blanques.
Limoux and her lovely Pont-Neuf by night.
Masked pierrots and their accompanying musicians parade the streets, playing as they dance the fecos, a slow rhythmic dance, and throwing confetti everywhere.
Following the pierrots are the goudils, which can be anyone from an old man, a cartoon character, a harlequin, a fat woman, a local dignitary, or famous person — whomever is fun to make fun of!
At the end of the festival, the king of the carnival must die in effigy for the sins of all the carnivalgoers.