Diner en blanc Paris

Diner en blanc in Paris

More than 13.000 people turned out in Paris on Thursday for the 27th edition of “Diner en blanc” (Dinner in white), a pop-up picnic where attendees dress to the nines entirely in white. The diners were armed with white tables and chairs, and packed out public areas of the Tuileries Garden and the Palais Royal. The tradition dates back to an event 26 years ago at which organisers invited guests to all wear white so they could be easily spotted in a park.

The event’s website describes itself as “thousands of people, dressed all in white, and conducting themselves with the greatest decorum, elegance, and etiquette, all meet for a mass chic picnic in a public space”. Attendees undertake to return the area they eat in to its original state, even collecting their own trash and carting it off. Participants are rewarded for their patience when, together with some other diners, they become part of a sea of white facing one of Paris’s most famous sights. Past locations have included the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Pyramid, the Chateau de Versailles and the Champs Élysées, providing delightful backdrops not only for the pop-up picnickers. Fortunate passers-by may also pose for pictures of what is a truly photogenic occasion.

The idea has also proved popular abroad with organisers saying close to 70 other events are scheduled for 2015 mostly in North America and Europe. After Paris, the biggest gathering is Montreal in Canada.

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