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Nice - Facts for the traveller, when to go, events

Facts for the traveller for Nice

Dressed up as clowns for Mardi Gras

When to Go to Nice

Don't come to Nice in July or August if you dislike strong heat, crowds of holidaymakers and serious traffic jams. May and June are the most pleasant months, followed by September and October. Partygoers will enjoy the carnival in February.

With over 2500 hours of sunshine every year, Nice boasts an exceptionally mild climate. The average daily temperature hovers around 15°C/59°F, soaring up to 40°C/104°F in July-August and rarely dipping below 5°C/41°F in winter (November-February). In summer the water temperature is a languid 20-25°C (68-77°F).

Nice Events

If you had to pick only one of Nice's fêtes, it would have to be its internationally famous Carnival, which is held in the second half of February. Dating back to the 13th century, the celebration had many different shapes and purposes before turning into the one we know today. After having fallen into neglect for a number of years, it experienced a rebirth in 1873, which saw the first-ever parade of floats and giant carnival figures or 'grosses têtes'. Since then, the carnival has grown larger every year, with more street parties, more parades of giant figures with papier-maché heads, more battles of flowers and confetti. The celebrations come to an end on the evening of Mardi Gras with a parade to celebrate the cremation of the carnival king and a fireworks display. In March, the gardens of the monastery at Cimiez are host to Nice's Festin des Cougourdons, celebrating oddly shaped decorative dried squashes - some are even used as percussion instruments! The celebrations include a mass, dancing, performances of folk music and sales. In June, Nice celebrates its patron saints, Saint Peter (patron of fishermen) and Saint John, and in October its local Sainte Réparate... with more masses, processions, music and dancing. Since 1948, Nice has hosted a Jazz Festival in July, with performances by international artists. The summer is marked by a series of musical events: a music festival and a Festival of Sacred Music in June, the Festival Voucalia de Musique Méditerranéenne in July, and the Nuits Musicales de Nice in July and August.

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