This year marks the 81st Fete du Citron à Menton, the annual Lemon Festival in Menton, France (previously featured here). The theme for this year’s festival is “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”. Over 300 artists worked with 145 tons of citrus fruit to create a variety of awesome sculptures inspired by Jules Verne’s classic 19th century science fiction novel about the adventures of Captain Nemo. We’re particularly fond of the giant octopus and squid, but the Nautilus, whale and Nemo himself are pretty great too.
Photos by Lionel Cironneau, Sebastien Nogier, and Olivier Anrigo respectively.
Van 16 februari tot 6 maart staat het plaatsje Menton geheel in het teken van de citroen. Dan vindt namelijk het “Fête du Citron” plaats. Dit feest is in 1929 ontstaan, toen Menton nog een zeer grote producent van citroenen was. Het idee kwam van een hoteleigenaar die een expositie van bloemen en citrusvruchten in de tuinen van “Hotel Rivièra” organiseerde. Dat het feest een groot succes was, bleek wel, want sinds 1934 wordt het feest jaarlijks georganiseerd.
The Fete du Citron (Citrus Festival) is a traditional Riviera event which takes place in Menton, Cote d’Azur every year. For just over two weeks the town is filled with day & night float parades, light shows, exhibitions & regional produce. More than 250,000 visitors arrive to be entertained, to witness the sheer extravagances and to be a part of this wonderful celebration.
Yesterday I went to la Fête du citron (Lemon Festival) in Menton (French city right on the border with Italy) with some of the other American students here. This is the equivalent of Carnaval in Menton, please don’t ask me why. There weren’t any corsos (parades) yesterday, but l'Exposition des motifs d'agrumes (Exposition of Citrus Motifs) and le Festival des orchidées et le Salon de l'artisanat (Orchid Festival and Salon of Artisans) were open, so we got to see those. So. many. lemons. Oranges (les oranges) and grapefruits (les pamplemousses) also featured prominently. Fun vocab word that it took me an embarrassingly long time to figure out: un agrume = citrus fruit. Okay, pictures:
Things for sale in le Salon de l'artisanat. This is but a small sampling of everything they were selling, which ranged from liqueur to jewelry to masks to wood carvings to felted hats to scarves to lemonade to postcards to candles, etc.
Le Festival des orchidées. I’m not sure why the orchid garden featured mannequins and bikes and such, but it was pretty cool anyway. This is but a small sampling of the pictures I took of the orchids. I’m having to exercise some serious self-control selecting pictures to put in this post.
Me at l'Exposition des motifs d'argumes. I figured we’d get the somewhat obligatory “proof I was there” picture out of the way. Anyway, yes, those are all lemons, oranges and grapefruits. And this is like less than a tenth of everything that was at the exposition.
Translation: “Don’t touch the fruit! Thank you.”
Again, the above pictures are but a small sampling of the pictures I had to choose from.
The Palais de L'Europe (building in this picture, you can sort of read the name) is where the Orchid Festival and Salon of Artisans was housed. This picture was taken from what I believe the French would call a passerelle (footbridge) over the road connecting the two halves of the garden housing the Exposition.
The beach at Menton. I really don’t know how I’m going to live when I go back to the States and don’t get to see the Mediterranean every day.