It's carnival time !!

Our neck of the woods are quite well known for illuminated carnivals. The season starts in November each year at a town called Bridgewater, known as home of carnival and believed to be the birthplace of the oldest carnival in England. The season runs till mid /late November where many towns nearby all take turns to host the event on different days. This year there were 8 parades and last weekend it was the turn of my hometown.

The carnival is probably our town's biggest event every year and always attracts big crowds, Apparently we get visitors coming from a few hundred miles away every year. The last time I went was well over 15 years ago. A lot of locals tend to avoid the carnival as it gets so crowded, very difficult to park, and in typical mentality, because you're local you can always go next year. This year I decided to go because I had a prime non crowded warm viewing spot. More on that in a minute.

The carnival starts at 7pm, and I got into town at 5pm. The roads were due to be closed off before the start and I didn't want to park too far away. With quite a lot of time to spare, I went for a stroll around town to see what the atmosphere was like. There was already quite a crowd sitting by the side of the road right next to the sea to get the best view. It was only half past five, but it was already dark and cold. Plus, don't forget we're a seaside town, not exactly fun to be sitting outside for two hours. These were hard core carnival fans!


I was luckier and didn't have to stand in the cold as my niece @kathrynkw lived in town and the carnival passed right in front of her living room. This is my view from indoors. The crowds had already lined up the streets waiting way before the carnival was due to start at 7pm. In the end we didn't see anything till 7.30pm and we're located at the beginning of the route. The whole Parade takes about two hours so the poor souls at the end of the route had ages to wait.

Once the floats started to come through it was like a massive party but without the push and squash for me. We switched off the lights and opened up the windows to get the full atmosphere. The music came blasting through and it was truly electric. According to the schedule there were about 50 participants, mostly illuminated floats, but also individuals dressed up in carnival costumes, and some community groups such fire engines, and local cadets march. We were pretty much on eye level with the performers on the floats, and got a very good view of their moves, waving to them as they went by. All the floats were to be judged by the organisers and many of them were dancing very energetically along to the music cheered on by the onlookers.






@kathrykw's children were loving it as well, especially her older son. He kept on shouting "more music! more music" after a float had passed by and the next one hadn't arrived yet. It was so sweet. His baby sister was equally mesmerised by it. Normally she likes to stand in front of the window, and tonight must have been even more special for her. The lights, the music and all the moving parts on the floats must have been a lovely sensory experience for the the little baby. For me, watching the kids enjoying themselves was as, if not more joyable as watching the carnival itself.


The two hours passed by pretty quick and very soon the last float went past us and the crowds started to disperse. It was 10pm by the time everything finished, an hour later than scheduled. Half an hour was due to the delayed start, then during the procession one of the float broke down and it took a long time to remove it from the carnival. You know when you're watching streaming with bad internet, that's what it felt like, very frustrating. But overall it was still a fantastic evening.

Hats off to the performers and the organisers and everyone who were there to make this a safe and enjoyable evening.


It's been many years since I visited the Bridgewater carnival, although we would mostly go and watch it at North Petherton. I guess it was less crowded there.

You used to live in this part of the world? I haven't been to any of the other carnivals before,maybe I should, to feel the different vibe.

Yes I know the area quite well, although it has been quite a few years now!

15 years is a long long time. This time carnival would be nostalgic to you as it has brought back so many memories to your mind. Strolling around the town and feeling the atmosphere would be giving you a sense of leisure and tranquility. Colourful lights and colourful dresses of people has enlightened the roads. It's indeed a colorful night.

When it's cold in the winter, people like me get very lazy and don't want to go out at night. If I didn't have an indoor space I wouldn't have bothered this year, glad I did

Always enjoyable having a great place to look down onto the carnival without having to be on the street, option is there to go onto street level to be in the throng and capture the feeling.

We had the windows open so the vibe was great and we could hear and feel the beat of everything, other than the jostling crowd which I didn't mind missing 😉

It's the way I enjoy it, close enough but not directly on the ground, better view!

Going to carnivals is always fun...a lot of things to enjoy to feel like a kid again hehe

All the lights and costume and music certainly makes one feel very happy. Especially the I see, they loved it

I think these carnival parades starting late is something global. I can't remember anything else than during my whole life, the carnival parade starting hours late. Being in February in Holland, this always meant we were freezing our butts off and I never understood how some kids went dressed in these extremely thin carnival outfits which you can still find today.

It's nice if you have a premium spot from the inside to watch it though, that reminds me of our first nights in Spain some years ago when the Halloween parade we didn't know about started right in front of our balcony. Music super loud and the whole town walked in the parade so it seems. It gives a special vibe if you're sort of "in" the parade, doesn't it?

I wonder is this the only carnival there? Or will there be some similar thing in February as there is in Holland? I don't know the ins and outs about this in Holland but I know the 11-11 is always a special date for the carnival season, but the end days (what they're all working towards) is in February.

Thanks for sharing :)

This particular festival is always in November, said to originate from the days when a person called Guy Fawkes tried to blow up our parliament, and hence we have bonfire night nowadays, don't know if it's celebrated in Europe as well.

Some of the performers in the floats were wearing very thin costumes they looked so cold to me, but maybe the lights, andreline and dancing helps to keep them warm.

You guys have a very long carnival season, that's like 3 months!! Lucky you! We definitely need that to cheer us up over the winter especially after Christmas when everything gets so depressing

You guys have a very long carnival season, that's like 3 months!! Lucky you! We definitely need that to cheer us up over the winter especially after Christmas when everything gets so depressing

Lol, it's not like there are parades all three months. The Dutch southern and eastern parts of the country kick off the season on 11-11, but that is only a small part. The 'tonproaters evenings' and show sessions then slowly start to get underway, and the carnival princes and princesses for the villages and towns are announced. But it is not the case that the Dutch constantly have festivities in the period up to February. The majority of Dutch people who celebrate Carnival only start doing so during the 'real' Carnival. In those 4 / 5 days you have parades in almost every town/village in the Southern and Eastern parts of The Netherlands. And for most Dutch people that lasts 4 to 5 days in February. At that time you could say that many southern and eastern Netherlands seemed to have become disconnected from reality. I have no experience with Carnival in the Northern and Western parts of The Netherlands, so I honestly don't know if it's really a thing there too.

Here is a bit of history about Carnival in the Netherlands.
Wikipedia Carnival in The Netherlands

LOL I thought I forgot to answer here, as I read it when I didn't feel well. Then I opened this comment and saw your reply thinking "I don't remember sending a link" LOL, then I noticed it was your comment :)

Ah, the guy from the masks, I read about him earlier this week once more. I never knew the history behind it though so thanks for sharing!

They may have been warm enough but the only thing I can remember is that those wearing thin clothes were always ill after carnaval in Holland, those that wore the thicker scars and such were the smart ones, even though their costumes weren't as cool as the others, haha.

It's not that we have a full 3 months carnival though, it's the start of the season and meanwhile the builders build their trucks and some other things as @hetty-rowan below explained in her comment.

I never liked it really, I always hated waiting for the parade, usually cold, often also rain, lots of REALLY drunk adults, annoying for a child to be honest.

But I agree on the winter cheer up. I love how everything is already decorated with lights even here in Spain now, really lifts the spirit during the colder evenings (even though they're not nearly as cold here as they are in Holland or UK).

I've never attended a carnival so far especially since they are not organized in Romania. But they always seemed at least one level higher than festivals which even though have things in common, the audience and activity will always be bigger and a lot more imposing on carnivals.

I suppose every country has their own traditions and customs, sounds like Romania has your own version, you going to try get to one one day?

Absolutely! I was actually tempted by the carnival from Venice which will happen soon but didn't find the right team to book our flights as everyone has other plans that period

It's been a while I attended carnivals and it's always fun to do. This is a nice one and a fantastic one at that. Kudos to the performers, organizers, and everyone involved for making it a memorable and enjoyable evening!

Did you spin my last paragraph?

No, I never did

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family do have their uses LOL.

Iiiiits getting to look a lot like christmas

yee haw.

This one has many good uses, especially the kids who are absolutely adorable and bring so much joy and happiness.

Yup, Christmas is coming, need to get my tree up soon!!!

I know exactly what you mean about kids, but getting your tree up in November???? But tbh, yes I have seen a few houses in my area with the decorations and lights up already. Think mine will go up on Dec. 24th LOL

Your viewing spot from your niece's living room sounds like the perfect way to enjoy the festivities without the typical crowd hassles.

It's heartwarming to know about the enthusiasm of the kids, especially your niece's son shouting for "more music" as those moments of pure joy make any event special.

Kids are an absolute gem, I love spending time with them

Its nice to know that.
Same here with me.

It looks amazing! I still remember carnival around here. The parades and all the candy given around the city. Too bad it was a tradition that died out because of thugs and economy, but it seems people are trying to recover those old parades and cars and schools of music

That's a pity! There's always going to be a minority spoiling this for everyone else. Hopefully your carnival can be bought back for everyone to enjoy again

There are some initiatives and public funding concerts and other stuff, but it's not the same family friendly thing.

I love to see carnivals and parades but unfortunately, I saw maybe once or twice in life. One was in Singapore a long time ago and the other one was in Ukraine but not like this one. You are lucky, got a nice place to enjoy the full carnival :D

Have a good weekend...

I hear the Netherlands have a long carnival season, hopefully you can catch a parade on day and add to your experience

Yes, they have but most of them are either far away from my place or I don't know the exact time. Hopefully next time, I will be able to experience something like this one...

Carnivals and the beauty it brings. I like the colours all around and this,

Plus, don't forget we're a seaside town...

The sound of seaside makes me wish I was at Bridgewater. I am glad you all had fun! And the views are worth zooming in to catch every detail.

Thanks for dropping by

You are welcome 😊.

I'm so glad you had fun and beautiful moments. Thank you for conveying this feeling to us.

It was a lovely evening, glad you enjoyed it virtually as well

I liked it very much, I have never attended a carnival in my life.

Hallelujah 😅, I would say. Because the truth is that I don't like to be in such crowded places. And since who doesn't want broth, gets three cups, I became a photographer and sometimes I have to be in the middle of a lot of people to do my job.
But you guys really enjoyed it. It is really very nice for the pictures I see here... a privilege for you. It's like watching a beautiful play from a reserved seat.

This year I decided to go because I had a prime non crowded warm viewing spot.

And about this I have to tell you that the first photo is a gem!

I bet being a photographer gets you the best view of everything, and getting into places where the public can't normally go. How lucky if you don't mind the crowd!

Originally I was very worried I might drop my phone that's why in some photos you see the window frame. Then I opened up the window wide open and held onto my phone like my life to take full view of the carnival.

Thanks for your lovely comment!

You're welcome 🤗.

I have never been to such a big carnival before. I especially want to attend the carnival with dragons in China. After all, it's all a life experience :)

Brazil is THE one you want to get to, that's the biggest in the world!

Are there dragons as well XD

Hola amiga! That looks like a great carnival! It looks so pretty! And good thing you had that cool view, I would have turned off the lights too to enjoy it 😍.

I'm glad you enjoyed it Evelyn.

I imagined you're a bit busy to go anywhere nowadays. How is baby Olivia doing? She must be coming up to a month old soon?

That's right amiga, very busy, but we are fine, Olivia is a very big and pretty girl, yesterday she turned one month old and seems to have more time 😍❤️

I didn't even know that there was such a thing in UK too. But it sure does remind me of the illuminated parade in a small town near the village where I used to live. That was in our Carnival season in February, on Sunday evening. People from all over the country would come to that parade to watch the illuminated parade. Thanks for sharing!


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I must look out for these carnival posts in February now, hopefully someone will post about it

The parades are definitely something to post about, although I'm not sure I'll be able, or even in the mood, to go watch some of the parades. I have celebrated carnival for years in the past, but in recent years I have been avoiding everything because of the big crowds, which I simply cannot deal with well. (Often also drunk people, pushy people who hypocritically pretend to like you so much while they don't see you for the rest of the year, and a lot of noise). It's not my party anymore.

Wow. Had no idea that you had carnivals in November, I thought it was a February/March thing all around! :) Seems like fun! !BEER

Mmm... I never noticed the carnival season in other countries apart from Rio coz that is so famous. Sounds like February is popular in Europe. But you know us Brits, we like to do things different from the rest of Europe 😄

In Venice there's also a very famous one. In Portugal the situation is kind of dumb sometimes, because some people/towns try to celebrate it brazilian style, i.e. dancing half-naked in the streets... which doesn't correlate that well with Winter... 😁

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That's a brilliant parade and a real welcome to the upcoming Christmas season. The fact your niece lives on the route is a real result! I'm jealous of everyone wrapped up warmly on a cold autumn night. Who decides on the theme of the floats etc? I loved the Carnaval del Barrio float. What an incredible and complex design.
Its also nice that things like this haven't been closed down by the health and safety people or the police for breaking numerous driving laws. There's still hope left for common sense!