Menton & Nice carnival festivals

Menton citrus sculpture during parade

The carnival of Menton bears some similarities to its cousin from neighbouring Nice: a parade of large heads, confetti streams, flower battles, Mardi Gras celebrations and finally the burning in effigy of “Majesty of the Carnival”.

The Menton Festival

The Fête du Citron is a carnival event organised by the tourist office of the city of Menton, France, and held every year at the end of winter since 1875. It is also sometimes called Carnaval de Menton. The festival celebrates the annual production of specialty lemons and other citrus fruit in Menton.

The festival comes alive with floats and sculptures of different fruits and their rich colours of orange and yellow. Every year a theme is held to go with the float and sculptured decorations. One can find many different types of sculptures made from these fruits, from dragons to old town houses, from Egyptian pharaohs to wild animals. The creativity level that this carnival brings is limitless.

The festivities which surround the celebration mark the period before Spring which is usually held in February over a span of 15 days in the coastal resort of Menton, on the French Riviera in between Monaco and the Italian border.
Today the festival and celebration is widely known and one of the world’s biggest events, which makes it a very special travel destination and also for the neighbouring towns.

Lemon Festival of Menton; Golden Fruits Parade

Here is some reasons why you should include this event into your group tour:

● You’ll get to see the most amazing floats and costumes in the parades
● You’ll be able to see a town that infused with both French and Italian history and culture
● You’ll get to see the prettiest pastel coloured houses people has ever seen
● You’ll be able to admire the sparking Mediterranean Sea as well as the nearby mountain

What you can see before or after the celebration in Menton:

● You can visit the Val Rahmeh Botanical Gardens
● You can go visit the Jean Cocteau Museum
● Visit the amazing Saint-Michel Basilica
● Go to the sub-tropical gardens of Jardine Serre de la Madone park.

Menton lemon festival parade

The carnival of Menton bears some similarities to its cousin from neighbouring Nice: a parade of large heads, confetti streams, flower battles, Mardi Gras celebrations and finally the burning in effigy of “Majesty of the Carnival”.

Nice Carnival

Brazilian Carnival, Venetian Carnival, and Mardi Gras in New Orleans. It is held annually in February and sometimes early March in Nice on the French Riviera. The public celebration recommenced in 1830 to honour visiting nobility and continued as a yearly free-for-all where people pelted each other with flour and eggs.

In France, the carnival is called Le Carnaval or Mardi Gras – meaning “Fat Tuesday”, with the most famous street carnival taking place in Nice during the two weeks before Spring. You’ll find plenty of fresh crêpes, alongside waffles and beignets, which are similar to doughnuts.

Nice Carnival in early 1900’s

Thus on February 23, 1873, Carnival 1st entered the city, which after the modern Carnival was born, to which Alexis Mossa and his son Gustave Adolf brought, until 1971, an astonishing particularity and a grotesque and fabulous relevance, creating the models for the most spectacular floats to parade in Nice. The parades take place day and night, while on the Promenade des Anglais, “flower battles” occur.

Each year, a special theme is chosen, and artists create 18 floats and other figurines in traditional papier-mâché for the colourful parade.The burning of the king in the sea marks the end of the festivities and the start of Spring. Legend has it that by burning the King, he will then rise again next year from the ashes to reign once again during the Carnival.

Papier-mâché float

Today, the two-week event attracts over a million visitors to Nice as it is an amazing destination for traveling and sightseeing. Here is some reasons why:

● You can go for a hike in the Mediterranean forest east of Nice – Mont Boron
● You will get a taste of great local foods and Italian cultures blended in these old towns
● You can go and see the Nice Castle Hill
● You’ll enjoy walks and the parade on the Promenade des Anglais

What you can see before or after the carnival in Nice:

● You can go and relax on the beaches Nice has to offer
● You must visit the Museum of Contemporary Art of Nice near the Garibaldi square
● You can also relax in the shades at Park Vigier on a beautiful day
● For more culture, you can go discover the Old Towns of Nice

Nice is a wonderful place to visit. Situated on the French Riviera, it has everything you need for a great time – stunning beaches, sensational bars and restaurants, amazing views and a wonderful mix of culture.

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