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Tarbes Bigourdan Carnival

Meet Esquivat, King of the Carnival, and the emblematic characters of the Tarbes Bigourdan Carnival
in a procession where we’re expecting lots of you in fancy dress…

Saturday 2 March 2024
from 2pm Place du Foirail

Tarbes gets back in touch with tradition with the 3rd Bigourdan Carnival!


Teams from Tarbes Tourisme, along with Cinthia Peyret, Carnival delegate, and musician Benjamin Bouyssou, have been working to revive the Carnival and invite the public to come and meet Esquivat, King of the Carnival, surrounded by his bodyguard and his royal court.
Watch out for the bears, Spring is on its way…

Don’t forget to dress up to join the parade and the court of King Esquivat!


On the programme for the 2024 edition


  • 2pm/14.30pm – Place du Foirail: Gathering and departure of the procession
  • 3pm – Place de la Mairie: Musical entertainment and traditional ball / Presentation of the keys by the Mayor to the Carnival King / Waking up and bear hunt
  • 4pm – Departure of the procession towards rue Foch then rue Brauhauban as far as the back of the Courthouse.
  • 5pm – Square Maurice Trélut (behind the Courthouse): Arrest of Roi Esquivat
  • 5.15pm/5.30pm – Place de la Mairie: Judgement, sentencing and cremation of the Esquivat King
  • 6.30pm – End of the Carnival
  • From 7pm – Place de la Mairie- Carnival evening organised by Dahu Collectif
  • 7pm – Traditional Occitan dance with Parparlhon
  • 9pm – Concert with Pipits Farlouz, Music

Find out more about the characters…

Personnages carnaval Bigourdan de Tarbes©Service Com Mairie de Tarbes

Count of Bigorre, he is the King of Carnival: jovial, a reveller, a party animal, clumsy, greedy, proud, both generous and profiteering.
Known as a gourmet, his coat of arms features various dishes from Bigorre: Haricot Tarbais, Porc noir de Bigorre, Oignon de Trébons and Gâteau à la broche.
He will use every means at his disposal to regain sovereignty over the Bigourdans and overthrow the powers that be.

Esquivat’s wife, she was a party girl from the start. You’ll find her more often in bars and bistros than at the courtly balls. A strong-willed and ambitious woman, she will do anything to regain the throne of Bigorre… with or without her husband!

They are the guarantors of order and safety. Always on your guard, make sure you don’t break the law, otherwise you’ll get the truncheon! If you do get caught, a drink can save the day…

Eth ORS (also known as eth Mossur) / THE BEAR (also known as the Mister)
The bear is the symbol of male and bestial sexuality, the tempter of the flesh: the devil for the clergy. It heralds the return of spring. Beware of them, as they are not afraid of anyone… except perhaps hunters!

This character is the anti-joy, the puritan. He personifies the lean period without meat and wine. This period lasts forty days, hence its name: Lent. He plays the role of righting wrongs by condemning debauchery and lust. He is dressed in a long white camisole and holds a long fishing rod with a fish head at the end.

They don’t respect any rules, they flout them with laughter and irony. Wearing clothes stuffed with straw, they are Esquivat’s bodyguard. They’ll help him regain the throne of Bigorre, whatever the cost!

A great bunch of merry chums on a never-ending quest for the ultimate trophy. Their Holy Grail? Catching a bear! Be careful not to wear too much fur, or they might mistake you for a wild boar or a doe!

A doctor, a veterinarian, he makes no distinction between palhassas and gendarmes or between hunters and bears. Enema, bloodletting, cod oil, firecrackers or a blast from his hunting horn – whatever it takes to get you back on your feet!

Images of the Bigourdan Carnival…

Contact details

Tarbes Tourisme
3, Cours Gambetta 65000 TARBES

Icone Téléphone

+33 5 62 51 30 31

Tarbes en tourisme - Office du tourisme - Hautes-Pyrénées - Icone Email


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