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Pre-Carnival Festivities

Pre-carnival festivities begin on the Sunday six weeks before the end of shrovetide. The drum rehearsal takes place first, followed by the 'soumonces' with drums and, finally, the 'soumonces' with music. These happen on one of the two Sundays, so that all the societies do not rehearse on the same day.

During the drum rehearsal, the societies each listen to their own drums in their own meeting rooms then walk the streets to the rhythm of the drums and the bass drum.

During the 'soumonces' with percussion, the societies sit together in a café outside the city center before gathering in the center with the accompaniment of drums and bass drums. The Gilles-to-be then put on their clogs and 'apertintaille' (a belt with small bells). They dance and shake their 'ramon'.

For the 'soumonces' with music, a brass band joins the drums. The participants wear a Shrove Sunday costume, which they have already worn at a previous carnival.

As well as these festivities, various galas are organised by the youth or by the Shrove Monday Association on Saturday night: the children's ball, the socialist youth ball, the liberal youth ball and the Catholic youth ball. These balls are accompanied by orchestras and people wear often costumes.

The Monday before Shrove Sunday is the night of the 'Trouilles de Nouilles', during which groups of people in costumes and masks pick out a person - preferably famous - without a costume in a café or on the streets of the city center to tell jokes to.

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