Thanks to Romain – a dear colleague who works with me at Arthur Rimbaud secondary school and who is a fan (the only one?) of this blog -, I would like to tell you about the Menton Carnival! Indeed, this Carnival is one of the most famous winter festivals in Europe. This celebration takes place every year in a town named Menton (it is the French word for ‘chin’), in France. I don’t know about you, but when Romain told me about this town called ‘Menton’, I first thought he was making up a town’s name and messing around 😀 And then, when I checked I discovered that this town really existed! Did you know that this place existed?
Moreover, to enlighten people like me who were totally unaware of its existence, Menton is located in the South-East of France on the French Riviera, and is known for its marvellous lemons; hence the fact that Menton is called the City of Lemons!
Anyway, my point is that people who live there are organizing a special Carnival… We all know what Carnival means… It is a festive season occuring immediately before Lent, and it typically involves a public celebration or parade combining masks and public street party: people are dressed up and everything! Nevertheless, this famous Carnival is nothing like the others we could have gone to… But, it is the Lemon Festival that interests me particularlly!
Indeed, this Lemon Festival lasts a few days, with different bands passing through Menton’s streets on foot or on truck trailers. It follows a given theme each year and during those past years, the themes included Disney, Neverland and India. But, what is interesting is that the floats and sculptures we can see there are all especially made from lemons and oranges! The Casino Gardens in the centre of town are also completely decorated in the theme of the festival. Thus, they use lemons to cover the exhibits, and huge statues are built and covered with citrus fruits.
I have never seen this Festival, and I did not know about its existence four days ago but Romain told me many things about it and I have seen great pictures! I think it is really original and impressing! Don’t forget that the Lemon Festival takes place every year in February! It ends with spectacular fireworks on Garavan bay… And even Queen Victoria assisted to this Carnival in 1882!