More than 80 Meuniers launched the 2023 edition of the longest carnival in the world.
Paradoxically for this first truly wintry day at the start of the year, the natives could have remained sheltered from the cold outside. Yes but here it is! Many of them did not want to miss the revival of the carnival, so, in such a context, onlookers were not choosy. And even if for some, they have known about the Meuniers and their antics for ages, the beginning of the carnival naturally represents a moment of often unavoidable meeting.
The eternal millers
Millers, there were this Sunday of all sizes, all ages and all sexes. At first, they were gathered in the lair of the Institute of Mask Arts, their original home in a way. After the word of welcome from Josian Bourrel, the co-chairman of the committee as well as from Pierre Durand, the first magistrate of the city, the Fécos made their arrival at the bottom of rue Jean-Jaurès. There, surrounded by an already large crowd, it was time for the “Brune” waltz. Then, with swaying steps, the revelers engulfed themselves under the arcades, a path they know well, accompanied by the gaze of an audience that stretches over an entire side of the square.
The Meunier is cheerful, the onlookers too, each trying to find out who is hiding behind the mask. An enigma for some, although in the matter, the blanquetière city has fine sleuths who find the identity of the Meunier by recognizing the gesture, the pace or the said mask.
The towers then go by at a speed of senators, fortunately for the Fécos that there are refueling points judiciously placed at the four corners of the square. Here we are not at the height of a competition, it is not a question of changing clogs but quite simply of quenching everyone’s throat with, in passing, some local allegories specific to revelers.
A municipal reception
Their duty accomplished, the Meuniers are then invited to the hall of the town hall for a friendly reception. Here again, melancholy is not on the agenda, especially after the “efforts” made previously. Elected officials, musicians and spectators, everyone is subject to the same tuning fork, the verb is high and the smiles are wide.
However, it remains to solve the mystery of the ghost coiled in the reception hall. It is therefore the revelers who are responsible for confusing the enigmatic visitor. This is a Meunier sculpted by the essential Fernand Garanto.
However, the hands of the clock invite the revelers to the meal taken together under the halls because the day is far from over. It will be dark when the happy ending of this first outing will be given.
When L’Aragou becomes the champion of mystery
It is one of the oldest carnival bands, but it has always maintained an atypical image. For this folkloric edition, the Carnival band will be particularly honored since it is she who will close the 2023 vintage next March. thematic to the new season which started this Sunday. This float, installed on the Place de la République throughout the period of the carnival festivities, is in public view. Consequently, the Aragou decided to place the carnival under the sign of mystery and esotericism. By calling said Ox cart of Machore, the revelers dictate the thematic tone of local folklore. Indeed, Machore is the name of a countryside where, a few decades ago, strange supernatural phenomena had occurred.