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Lemon Festival in Menton France

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What is the Menton Lemon Festival?

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The Lemon Festival, Fête du Citron or Menton Carnival is an annual celebration held in the city of Menton, France. The Lemon Festival is a major celebration held to commemorate one of the most important local products for several centuries: Lemon. For centuries, Menton has been one of the major producers of this unique and particular citrus fruit.

The city of Menton proudly celebrates its most important product through exhibitions, parades and allegorical floats. It takes 145 tons of this fruit, all tied together withelastic ribbons in order to design all the works of art, to make these incredible works of art.


 

One of the curiosities of theMenton Carnivals or Lemon Festival is that the characteristic lemons of this city are not used, but other ordinary lemons. Although somewhat disappointing, the reason for this is because the lemons are grown in a special way, making them a bit more expensive than normal ones. Also, the local production of lemons is not enough to create all the pieces on display today. In the case ofMenton lemons, it is better to eat them than to use them as building materials.

Due to the greatcultural contribution and its prolonged celebration, the Lemon Festival has been recognized as Immaterial Cultural Heritage in France. Each year, these carnivals attract a total of 200,000 people who come to witness the incredible works of art made with lemons.

 

Why is the lemon celebrated

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The lemon of the city of Menton is unique and particular as it is grown in authorized orchards, harvested by hand, not subjected to any post-harvest treatment and not coated with wax of any kind.The Lemon Festival is organized by the Office of Tourism and celebrates the annual production of local lemons and other citrus fruits that are also produced in the city of Menton. Absolutely all of the floats and sculptures on display at the carnival are made from lemons and oranges..

 

The Lemon Festival is a celebration that commemorates the city's most famous product

The Lemon Festival is a celebration that commemorates the city’s most famous product

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When is the Menton Lemon Festival ?

The Lemon Festival or Carnival is held during the month of February and has a duration of approximately 15 in which you can see impressive works of art and floats made with lemons and oranges.

LThe Lemon Festival will take place from approximately February 13 to March 28.

 

 

History of the Menton Lemon Festivals

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The Lemon Festival first emerged in the year 1935; however, to talk about the beginning of the Lemon Festival, we must understand a little more about the history and importance of the lemon for the city of Menton. Lemon in the city was first mentioned in local writings in the year 1450. However, local production was based on other types of products and lemon had not yet acquired the importance it has today.

Since 1341, the city of Menton had intensified the cultivation of olive trees and the first citrus fruits appeared. However, even in the middle of the 15th century, Menton’s production consisted mainly of cereals, vines and figs. The real citrus boom began two centuries later, so the city records began to regulate production and take more importance to it. The golden age of lemons was from the 18th and 19th century.

 

Economic boom

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Lemons began to be theprimary economic activity of Menton and by the middle of the 19th century, the production of lemons and oranges was 280 million a year. In addition, exports per year were also growing, with 35 million lemons reaching England, Germany, Russia and the United States. However, production began to decline to a critical level.

 

Decline in production

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In the second half of the 19th century, production began to decline due to insufficient farm size, plant diseases and bad weather. In addition, in the first half of the 20th century, production was heavily affected by Phoma tracheiphila or “Mal Secco“. Fortunately, however, production improved on a large scale after the development of urbanism.

Citrus production began to receive financial aid that was directed towards producers and to preserve land. In this way, it has allowed production to be maintained and improved over the years. By 2015, the lemons obtained the Protected Designation of Origin.



Carnivals

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During the year 1875, a group of hoteliers were looking for a way to provide winter entertainment for the city, so they suggested to the municipality that a parade be held through the city. Thus, in 1876 began in the city of Menton a series of events that could entertain both the local population and visitors. Those who visited the area were mainly the bourgeois society and royalty, as it was fashionable at the time to visit locations with mild weather during the winter.

The 1882 edition was one of the best because of its entertainment and because it had been attended by Queen Victoria. By that time the Festival had been compared to the Nice Carnival.

 

The tradition of the “Moucouleti”

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During the night of the second parade, a ceremony called “Moucouleti” or “Moccoletti” was performed in which small candles were lit and held by everyone. In addition, it involved a game in which everyone had to keep their candle lit while trying to extinguish those of others. Usually, the purpose of the event was to establish a love relationship with a participant.

 

Lemon boom

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During the economic boom of the lemon in the city, a person from the hotel guild had the idea of organizing an exhibition of flowers and citrus fruit in the gardens of the Hotel Riviera. The event was a great success, so it was taken to the streets of the city to be exhibited again the following year. The event was considered atourist attraction, so in 1935 the Lemon Festival was born. The following year, the citrus and flowers exhibition was held.

Today, thecity of Menton is not known for the quantity of lemons it produces, but rather for their quality, as they are of a special type sought after by chefs from all over the region. The Carnival of Menton or Lemon Festival celebration features elaborate themed floats whose structures are covered with citrus fruits, mainlylemons and oranges, which are imported from Spain each year. At the end of the event, the fruits are sold at low prices, so no produce goes to waste.

If you want to know more about tourism in this country I recommend this guide:.

 

Where is the Menton Lemon Festival

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The Carnival is held in thecity of Menton in the Alpes-Maritimes of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region in southeastern France.

 

During the Lemon Festival, artworks and structures are arranged in the streets of the city

During the Lemon Festival, artworks and structures are arranged in the streets of the city

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How the Menton Lemon Festival is celebrated

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The Lemon Carnival or Lemon Festival has a very particular celebration, since it is based on the creation of large and imposing works of art that range between floats and structures. These works are made as conventional float structures; however, the surface of them are covered with lemons and oranges..

The celebrations feature a large number of repertoires of dance troupes which are mainly found in the parade. Hundreds of dancers in large and colorful costumes parade through the streets. In addition, their entire presentation is accompanied by musical pieces that envelop the entire presentation, turning it into a wonderful spectacle..

The Carnival of the Lemon in Menton has a number of important elements that have made it one of the most outstanding festivals in France. Among some of the elements we can highlight the following:

 

Exhibition of Citrus Patterns

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This attraction is a set of static art pieces that are arranged in the streets of the city. Generally, thesestructures are inspired by great buildings or personalities and have a large size. All the structures are decorated with lemons and oranges, including the patterns on the ground.

 

Golden Fruit Parades

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This is a series of parades that occurs at various times during the celebration. The parades feature large themed floats equally decorated with lemons and oranges. Imposing structures with dragon, castle and animal designs make their way as float attendants drop confetti on the audience. Between each float, various troupes perform theatrical presentations and dances accompanied by music.

 

Gardens of Lights

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The street structures take on a new perspective at night.Hundreds of lights illuminate the art pieces and create patterns of lights that completely change the perception of the works. In addition, image projections are performed, which adds a new layer of entertaining to the structures.

 

Night-Time Parades or Night-Time Parades

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During the night, the parades take on various nuances, as hundreds of figures stroll through the streets with lights of all colors. The floats make their presence felt with their imposing sizes that also contain some lights to highlight. Between each float, dozens of international dance troupes strut through the streets in incredible light-filled themed costumes. In addition, you can also see light-filled magical creatures and themed floats full of lights and movements. Bubbles and confetti float in the air during the parades.

The festivities are also accompanied by various events such as exhibitions, concerts, lectures and other great activities. Of course, the fireworks shows are a must, giving a magical closing to every event.

 

Tips for going to the Menton Lemon Festivals

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If you wish to attend the Menton Carnivals or the Lemon Festival, we recommend you to plan your trip in advance, make an itinerary of activities and book your accommodation in advance. Also, remember to pack comfortable clothes, coats and shoes so that you can fully enjoy your carnivals.

Arriving early is a must so that you can enjoy the events in the best way and get a good spot to see everything that happens in the parades and exhibitions.

The exhibitions and parades are held in closed areas, so you must purchase your tickets through the relevant agencies. Tickets usually cost between 5 euros for children and 10 to 15 euros for adults. Children under 6 years old enter free of charge if accompanied by adults.

Remember that you can not enter the enclosure with glass bottles, sharp objects, suitcases or fireworks.

Remember to keep an eye out for program changes directly on the carnival page so you can access information about the days and times of the events.

 

Events at the Menton Lemon Festival

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Exhibition of Citrus Patterns

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Large exhibits and art pieces lining the streets are set up from start to finish, so you can visit from the time the festivities begin until they end.

Exhibitions take place in the Biovès Garden from Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, on Thursdays from 10 am to 7 pm and on Saturdays from 9 am to 7 pm. The main entrance is through the Casino Barrière.

 

Golden Fruit Parades

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The daytime parades with the large and imposing floats covered with lemons and oranges accompanied by the dance and music groups take place only 3 times during the carnivals..

The parades take place on the Promenade du Soleil or maritime promenade from 2:30 pm to 4:00 pm.

 

Gardens of Lights

or Gardens of Lights

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Structures on the streets decorated with the citrus trees and adorned with bright lights and patterns are performed only 3 times during the holidays.

The display runs from 8:30 pm to 10:30 pm. The structures will be located in the Biovès Garden and the main entrance at the Casino Barrière.

 

 

Night-Time Parades or Night-Time Parades

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Night-time parades with all the floats and entertainment during the streets are held only 2 times during the carnival festivities..

Events are held until 10:15 pm. The parade takes place on Promenade du Soleil or city promenade.

 

Details and presentations

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The various entertainment events that occur during the festivities are usually available to visit from the time the facilities open until the time the carnivals culminate. Workshops may include sculpture, ceramics, flower and plant festivals and garden work.

Generally, these types of events are held at the Palais de l’Europe and are free admission. Eventsare open Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, on Thursdays and Fridays from 10 am to 7 pm and on Sundays from 9 am to 7 pm.

 

Street entertainment

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During the carnivals different entertaining events with foreign groups take place. These events can range from caporal presentations from Latin America, passing through theater plays from the Amazons to Japanese fanfares..

In addition, great musical performances with outstanding bands, singers and musicians are also held.

 

At the Lemon Festival, large sculptures are made with lemons and oranges

At the Lemon Festival, large sculptures are made with lemons and oranges

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Menton Lemon Festival Parades

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The parades occur on two occasions: During the day and are known as Golden Fruit Parades and during the night, known as Night Parades.

Both parades feature the presence of the imposing carriages decorated with lemons and oranges. During both events there are theatrical performances, dance presentations, jugglers, marching bands, acrobats andlive entertainment of the highest quality. The confeti is an essential part of the parades and is thrown everywhere, creating a constant rain of thousands of colored papers.

The night parades feature somewhat different elements, as performers and floats with various lights are presented. In addition, hundreds of dolls, inflatable animals and fantastic creatures float around the grounds, glowing and wobbling from side to side, creating a magical spectacle of colors and figures.

 

Parade route

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La Fiesta del Limón has a schedule full of activities and parades

La Fiesta del Limón has a schedule full of activities and parades

 

Both the daytime and evening parades take place on the Promenade du Soleil or promenade of the city.

 

The Bouillabaisse is a traditional fish stew of the region

The Bouillabaisse is a traditional fish stew of the region

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What to eat at the Lemon Festival in Menton

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One of the typical dishes of Menton is Bouillabaisse. This is a traditional fish stew made with vegetables, potatoes, seafood, garlic, herbs and tomatoes. It is usually accompanied by a rouille, a mayonnaise made with saffron and cayenne pepper.

In addition, you can also try one of the most famous wines of the region: Vin jaune. This is a golden wine similar to sherry and is made from late-harvest grapes. It should generally be served at cellar temperature, 13 to 15 degrees Celsius and can be accompanied by chicken or Comté cheese.

In addition, the city also offers you a wealth of restaurants, bars and cafes such as Restaurant Le Galion, Si Menton savait, Traiteur Poivre Et Sel, Restaurant Ischia – Live Piano Music and A.Braijade Meridiounale..

 

Vin jaune is a very popular wine in the region

Vin jaune is a very popular wine in the region

 

Travel Insurance

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From Carnavalesdelmundo.org we recommend to hire a good insurance to visit this carnival and to know the rest of the country. For being our readers we offer a 5% discount on all IATI insurance. Read more information about all insurance offers here:

 

 

What to see and do inside the Menton Lemon Festival

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Once you are inside the carnivals, it is a must that you go to each of the attractions that the Lemon Festival offers, after all it is a unique opportunity to see the incredible structures that are decorated with lemons and oranges.

During the day you canattend the Citrus Pattern Exhibition and the Golden Fruit Parade. At these events you will see dozens ofstructures and floats decorated with citrus fruits. In addition, the parade floats feature the participation of groups and bands that add special touches to the presentation. The fixed structures in the city have great structures and themes that you won’t want to miss.

During the night you can attend the Gardens of Lights or Night Parades, both attractions have a lot of lights that highlight all the decorations made with lemons and oranges. During the night parade, you will see hundreds of magical animals and floats shining in various colors. In the garden of lights you will see towering citrus structures that are adorned with projections and lights.

Finally, you can attend the various events such as tworkshops, musical performances, talks and street events that make the carnivals in Menton a unique and special event.

If you don’t want to complicate things, here you can book interesting excursions in English in this city:.

Guided tours in Spanish around the world

 

What to see and do outside the Menton Lemon Festival

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Promenade du Soleil

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It is the promenade of the city. It is located right next to the coast and you have a view of both the mountains and the ocean. In its surroundings you can find a good amount of hotels and restaurants.

 

Jardin Botanique Val Rahmeh-Menton

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It is a botanical garden with 19th century style where you can find a lot of exotic trees, aquatic plants and wells.

 

Jean Cocteau Museum Collection Severin Wunderman

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This is a museum dedicated to poet, playwright, novelist and visual artist Jean Maurice Cocteau. The museum was established in 2011 and houses nearly 1,000 graphic works by Jean Maurice.

Also if you want to visit museums and important buildings in this city we recommend that you book your ticket in advance through Tiquets: .

Book tickets in the city you are visiting

 

Safety at the Menton Lemon Festival

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The city of Menton is quiet, pleasant and safe, so you can feel safe if you decide to walk the streets both day and night. We recommend you to use common sense and keep an eye on your belongings and keep them in a safe place to avoid losing them.

It is always a good idea to keep your valuables in a safe place to avoid theft and loss. Also, we recommend the following products to keep your valuables safe:

 

 

Climate at the Menton Lemon Festival

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During the carnival celebrations, the city’s weather is somewhat chilly, with temperatures ranging from 7 to 12 degrees Celsius. We recommend you bring something warm for the festivities.

 

Artists from all over the world come to the city to celebrate the Lemon Festival

Artists from all over the world come to the city to celebrate the Lemon Festival

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How to get to the Lemon Festival of Menton

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How to get there by plane

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The closest airport to the city of Menton is the Nice Côte d’Azur Airport, which receives a good number of flights from all over Europe and America. Once here, you can use the various means of transportation to reach the city center of Menton.

You can also reach Monaco airport by national or regional flights.

We recommend buying airline tickets through Kiwi.com or Skyscanner where they are usually cheaper. More information on this link to review Kiwi.com..

 

How to get there by train

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From the airport you can take the streetcar to Durandy using the L2 line. Once there, transfer and take a train from Nice to Menton on the TER, EC or TGV lines.

In addition, the station also allows you to arrive from other cities in the region and the border area of Italy.

 

How to get there by bus

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From the airport take the bus on the Lignes D’azur line to the city of Menton. The journey takes 1 hour and 15 minutes.

You can also reach the city through the station which receives regional buses.

 

How to get there by car

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From the airport you can take the A8 road to the city center. The journey time is 40 minutes.

 

Where to stay at the Menton Lemon Festival

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Booking.com

 

Quality Hotel Menton Méditerranée

3-star hotel 150 meters from the city center of Menton. Rooms have minibar, TV and private bathroom. Facilities offer bar, restaurant, parking and free wifi.

 

Hôtel Riva Art & Spa

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3-star hotel 1.1 km from Menton city center. Rooms have air conditioning, TV and minibar. Facilities feature beach entrance, bar, spa, parking and free wifi.

 

Best Western Plus Hotel Prince De Galles

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4 star hotel 1.6 km from Menton city center. The rooms are air-conditioned, overhauled and have a minibar. The hotel has a bar, beach entrance, restaurant, parking and free wifi.

We recommend you to use Booking.com to book hotels at a good price, check more information here:.

 


Booking.com

 

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