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My children came home from school yesterday to say that they had to dress up for the carnival on 23rd March.  They will walk through the village and then burn the effigy of a man that they are making in school.  Can anyone explain who they burn and why?  

Thanks in advance,


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Apparently it is Monsieur Carnaval, who has been responsible for all the wrongdoing over the past year. One site describes him as a descendant of the old king of Saturnalia and links him with such figures as the Lord of Misrule. I found this on the web and there is more,but I thought that you might want the quick answer.
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The effigy is called 'Pettascou' (I don't think I've got the spelling correct though!) . Many towns and villages will be having a carnaval around the time of the first day of Spring, culminating in him being burned.  At our carnaval the children often do a speech before telling him all the bad things that have happened over the winter. Everyone dresses up in fancy dress, there are games, face painting, horse-drawn caleche rides, and little tractor train for les petites, lots of gouters and wine. We have confetti battles, often with cans of silly string  as well and balloon releases.  It's always a really good afternoon.

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