21 February 2007

India in Menton!

La Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival) is the biggest fête of the year in Menton. It celebrates the symbol of Menton which is the lemon. Each year there is a different theme and this year, the 74th year, the theme is Carnivals of the World, featuring India. Last year it was Brazil. Prior to the Carnivals theme, we've had fables, nursery rhymes and one year, the World of Tintin, a favourite of mine, probably because I love Tintin's dog, Milou.

There are dozens of statues, all made, as you can see of lemons and oranges and each fixed individually to a wire frame with a rubber band. Word has it that the lemons and oranges used in the displays don't actually come from Menton but from Spain, where they are cheaper. A team of men walks around all day replacing any fruit that is beginning to rot. These statues, which include the Taj Mahal and a gorgeous elephant, are in the Jardin Bioves but as well as this, there are parades through the town with floats and music and dancing girls. La Fête du Citron draws thousands and thousands of visitors to Menton every year.

You can read more here (in French) and here (in English). The festival runs from the 17th February to the 7th March.

This particularly statue is the height of a block of apartments but the shots I took yesterday indicating the size, were a little dark as the sun was beginning to go down. This was the best despite cutting off the top of his hat!


  1. Very striking! Thanks for pointing out that it is made from lemons and oranges - that is amazing work.

  2. Wow!! this is just amazing! I didn't know about this kind of Fête in France (or it only takes place in Menton?).
    What did you do with all that (spanish)lemons and oranges after that? I hope you make a huge lemonade!

  3. dsole - apparently in most carnivals, the images are burned or drowned but not in Menton. In Menton, the fruit is made into conserve or juice!

  4. Surprenant et impressionnant !

  5. I'm glad to hear all this fruit is not lost after that! thank u ;)

  6. This is something like the big "Rose Parade" in California where all the floats are made from flowers. I have never seen anything like this before and since the fruit is made into juice, what do they do with all that new juice? I would think it would make so much juice that it would be inexpensive to buy. A beautiful picture.

  7. Abraham

    There are several companies in Menton who make conserves, liqueurs, soaps, etc - all made with lemon or orange juice. I imagine the mountain of fruit goes to them.

    I'm sure a lot of it though would be soft and rotten by the end of the festival, especially if it's rained - and hey, it's raining today!


  8. Lol, Jilly - while you were describing different themes each year: India, Brazil, Tintin - I was wracking my brain trying to remember which continent Tintin's on ;-))))
    That's a fantastic photo, you can see the scale of it - is there any citrus aroma when the float passes by?

  9. Isabella

    Goodness, I did write terrible English, didn't I? That's what comes of posting an entry at 7 in the morning! (I've corrected it, I hope)Thankyou for pointing it out in such a kind way.

    I wasn't aware of citrus aroma from the floats as they passed by but perhaps I wasn't sniffing enough!

    Jilly x

  10. This is an amazing celebration, and your photograph is so clear!!

  11. Great photo, Jilly and so clear against such a blue sky, another feature of Menton.

    I've never seen it but your photo motivates me to make the effort.

  12. I love the colors from the lemons and oranges on the statue. Must have taken days to finish a statue this size.

  13. Triple Wow! Love the colors!


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