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During the month of February a great many carnivals are held to celebrate the Mardi Gras, Catholic celebrations which mark the end of the festivities before the season of Lent.
In anticipation of the 40 days of penitence and fasting before Easter, we compensate with merrymaking, savouring the pleasures of life.
These carnivals have become real folkloric festivals widely celebrated the world over, bringing together crowds of people who parade and dance through the streets. Famous costumes are worn for the occasion: those of the Gilles for example at the Carnival of Binche or the masked characters of the Commedia dell'Arte at the Carnival of Venice.
Ziem Félix (1821-1911)
Paris, Petit Palais, musée des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris
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