It’s Carnival time!

Blood oranges in baskets and Pierrots in their Carnival costumes.The snow just will not stop here in Belgium! It’s really incredible for a Florida girl like me, although the novelty may be wearing off, to be honest. Despite the snowy weather, we decided we just couldn’t miss the Carnival season this year. It’s really a big deal in Belgium, and even the school holidays are coordinated so kids will be off the week of Mardi Gras. There are many well-known Carnival celebrations to choose from, each with something unique to offer. Intrigued by the long list of traditional costumes, we decided on Malmedy, a small town nestled in the Ardennes mountains. The snow was really coming down when we arrived, but as the parade was in full swing, we quickly forgot about the cold and joined in the fun. We collected candy and blood oranges and even shots of peket (the ubiquitous liquor consumed in great quantities at Belgian festivals), while enduring some good-natured teasing by the costumed participants. These pierrots or pièrots if you speak the traditional Wallon language, throw blood oranges and walnuts to spectators in exchange for a little song. I’ll be posting more photos of the traditional costumes throughout the week. More information about the Malmedy Carnival can be found on their website.