Travel With Ysabel: Dunkerque Carnival

During Valentine’s Day weekend, up in the Northern region of France is a little town called Dunkerque that held a colorful, noisy carnival filled with flamboyant costumes, disguised festival goers and an atmosphere of merriment and entertainment. This carnival goes around France that lasts from the end of January to mid-March. The origin of this festival started as a special feast for groups of fishermen before they set sail for the icy waters of Iceland to catch cod, a kind of fish that is sold for an expensive price.

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When we hopped on the train from Lille en route to Dunkerque, I estimate around 95% of the passengers are dressed in flashy costumes. No matter how ridiculous anyone looked, it didn’t matter to them because that’s what made the event fun and unique. My co-exchange students from DLSU and ADMU wished we came prepared so we could blend in with them.Haha.

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In this event, everyone is in full participation. Roads are closed for the parade that lasts for 5 hours – from 3:00 to 8:00 pm. Along the parade, people started chanting and singing some songs that none of us could understand since it’s in French. It turns out to be a jingle that celebrates the sailors and honors Jean Bart, a French naval commander and pioneer from Dunkerque who led France to succeed against England. Music, drums and colorful confetti were all over the place. It was a noisy, packed party!

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The Ateneo and La Salle exchange students of the spring semester. Wee!

  • What fantastic photos Ysabel, looks like great fun! I had heard about this event when I lived in France and have always wanted to go to it