From the 16th to the 30th of March, Toulouse celebrates its famous carnival, an event that marks the beginning of spring. There are many reasons to join and to celebrate it on the streets. Also in 2019, costume parades will be present during one week on the streets of the so-called pink city. It is during carnival when you have the possibility to discover Toulouse from another perspective and experience its funniest and most sleepless nights.
Thanks to our Renfe-SNCF in Cooperation trains, you can reach Toulouse from Barcelona in only 3 hours; thus, this year you have another activity to schedule in your agenda. You only need to prepare your costume!
The Carnival of Toulouse
goes beyond a single parade, since it includes a rich program of activities such as concerts, workshops and shows; many of them are located around the Place de l'Estrapade.
In 2019, the festival will celebrate its 8th edition after being restored in 2012, after 20 years of absence. The emptiness of those two decades explains why locals and visitors have such a huge enthusiasm in participating in these activities.
The main activity: the Great Parade
Images of the carnival parade - Pictures of Facebook page
The Carnival of the capital of Occitanie is celebrated with the same intensity from the first to the last day, but there is a special day that people anxiously await: the day of the Great Carnival Parade, which in 2019 will take place on Saturday, march 30.
During the afternoon, the whole city goes out onto the streets to contemplate the extraordinary floats, the elaborated costumes and to experience an atmosphere where music, dance and colour are the absolute protagonists. All this takes place under a shower of confetti that dyes the city with colourful tonalities.
The burning of Monsieur Carnival
After the long-awaited Parade (which will run along the main streets of Toulouse, such as Grand Rond and Allées Frédéric Mistral) another highlight of this festivity takes place: the trial and burning of Monsieur Carnival, a puppet of enormous dimensions that in each edition of the carnival takes a different form.
According to the tradition, he is the responsible for all our woes and worries accumulated during a whole year, so his burning at the stake represents the liberation of all our difficulties.
Once all the problems have been resolved, a huge party starts and it lasts until late.
The tradition of the Carnival bull
Holiday activities - Pictures of Facebook page
In the South of France, a totem animal -that represents part of the history of the city- is also included in the Carnival Parade.
In the case of Toulouse, this important mission is assigned to a bull. It is a memorial of the unfortunate encounter that the bishop of the city and a bull had there in the year 250, when the bull dragged the bishop in the famous Rue du Taur (Street of the Bull). Therefore, the bull is present at every Carnival.