Colorful lemon Festival in Menton
Every year in Menton (Menton) in the South of France is bright and amazing Lemon festival. At this time there are building huge sculptures, castles and towers out of lemons and oranges, and the air filled with the smell of citrus! The lemon festival attracts more than 230 thousand visitors annually and has no analogues in the world.
The largest citrus festival lasts for almost three weeks and takes place from February to March. This is truly a unique global event has been held for over 80 years. Over its holding employs more than 300 professionals of the citrus growers, gardeners, designers. For the preparation of the celebration employ approximately 145 tons of citrus fruits! Every year for him to choose a new theme: “signs of the zodiac” (1967), “the Lemon and the sea” (1971), “Tales and legends” (1986), etc. the organizers of the festival are never repeated in their ideas and surprises, that adds a special touch. Can every year to attend the festival and every year it will be different from the previous one.
In 2013 year will be the 80th lemon Festival, it will be held from 16 February to 6 March, and its theme – “Around the world in 80 days” (Le Tour du Monde en 80 jours).
Resort town and port of Menton is located on the Cote d’azur of the Mediterranean sea, 30 km from nice before the Italian border. Menton has a very mild climate, thanks to which the town has numerous parks and gardens. This city is called the capital of lemons. The warm climate of the French Riviera allows you to grow them year-round. There is almost no winter, and the harvest of lemons harvested three times a year. The biggest harvest shoot in March-April. The festival was conceived as a preparation for the very rich harvest season in Menton.
To grow citrus in Menton began in the 15th century. The Golden age of lemon lasted from 1740 to 1840. One of the first parades were held in 1882 with a spectacular fireworks display over the Bay of Garavan. In 1929 the city, being the largest producer of lemon on the continent, with great success met in the gardens of the hotel “Riviera” exhibition of flowers and citrus fruit, and next year the festival has moved to the streets: truck with orange and lemon bushes were accompanied by a charming resident of the city.
For the development of tourism, the municipality decided to give the parade a typical local flavor (lemon is the symbol of Menton), and in 1934 appeared the Lemon festival. Two years later hosted the first exhibition of flowers and citrus in the Biovès Gardens.
Mentonski lemon special, he has an elliptic form, it is rich in acid, his skin has a high content of essential oils. During its fruiting branches can withstand dozens of fruits.
In addition to the festival are encouraged to visit the largest collection of citrus in Europe in the garden of Carnolès Palace, the former summer residence of the princes of Monaco. Here you can see the 340 trees of 100 different varieties: 11 varieties of lemon, 6 cedrat, 20 orange, lime and 8, as well as varieties of Mandarin, Clementine, kumquat, bergamot, bitter orange (bigarade), grapefruit and pomelo. Entrance costs 5 euros.
A three-week festival is accompanied by exhibitions of sculptures made from lemons, oranges and grapefruits, parades, musical performances, folk songs, French folk songs, and fireworks.
During the feast of the Biovès Gardens are dressed in the colors of the sun, in the dazzling yellow and orange shades. Here there are incredible giant composition of fruit, some up to 10 meters in height. To create them requires thousands of hours and about 15 tons for each citrus.
During the Festival of lemons sleepy Menton wakes up from a riot of colors and a fun atmosphere, the streets of the city are many carnival groups in colorful costumes. Everyone is invited to taste the new varieties of lemons, drinks and sweets made from “yellow king holiday”. By the way, a visit to the exhibition lemon-orange sculpture is from 9 to 22 euros.
And at the end of the festival in the Gardens of lights (Biovès Gardens) artisans present their work (carving, printmaking, ceramics), visitors can also enjoy lemonade, Limoncello, orange wine and mentonski olive oil.
There are still many exotic festivals, for example, a mud carnival in Brazil, the Indian festival of camels or the feast of the monkeys in Lopburi.