Nice Carnival

The Nice Carnival (French: Carnaval de Nice) is one of the world's major carnival events, alongside the Brazilian Carnival, Venetian Carnival, and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It is held annually in February and sometimes early March (depending on the movable date of Carnival in the Christian calendar) in Nice on the French Riviera.

Nice Carnival
Carnaval de Nice
Floats at the 2010 Nice Carnival
Coordinates43.7034°N 7.2663°E / 43.7034; 7.2663
Most recent15–29 February 2020
Previous eventEdition 2020: Carnaval Roi de la Mode
Next eventEdition 2023: Carnaval Roi des Trésors du Monde


The earliest records establish the carnival's existence in 1294, when the Count of Provence, Charles Anjou, wrote that he had passed "the joyous days of carnival."[1] This may make the Nice Carnival the original carnival celebration.

In 1873, a committee was created for the Carnival, headed by local artist Alexis Mossa, with later contributions from his son Gustav-Adolf Mossa. The Carnival was reinvented into a parade,[2] adding masquerades, satirical floats, and competitions.[3]

Today, the two-week event attracts over a million visitors to Nice every year.

Each year, a special theme is chosen, and artists create 18 floats and other figurines in traditional papier-mâché for the colorful parade. The parades take place day and night, while on the Promenade des Anglais, "flower battles" occur.

In 2017, the memorial to the 2016 Nice truck attack was dismantled in preparation for the carnival.[4] Additionally, the route was moved from the Promenade des Anglais to the Promenade du Paillon.[5]


  1. "Origins and traditions - Carnival 2017 Nice". Archived from the original on 13 March 2016. Retrieved 17 July 2016.
  2. Caroline De Westenholz, 'Gustav Adolf Mossa (1883–1971), Lui, A Portrait of Varius' in Varian Studies Volume Three: A Varian Symposium, 2017, p.159
  3. "Nice Carnival is the most spectacular and bright show in French Riviera". 27 November 2013.
  4. Mills, Emma (10 February 2017). "Nice terror attack memorial dismantled ahead of carnival". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  5. "Nice carnival parade changes route following Bastille Day massacre". Radio France Internationale. 10 February 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017.

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