Every year since 1885, a small town in the South-East of France gathers to celebrate the transition of the cold, harsh Winter to the beginning of Spring. The town, is Menton, the country’s leading producer of lemons and once a year, the centre of the world renowned carnival ‘Fête du Citron’. Each year they select a central theme around which they fashion extravagant floats and events, in the past they’ve focussed on topics like Broadway and Italian Cinema, but this year the theme du jour is Bollywood.
Since the Lumiere Brothers brought the concept of film to India 1896, Bollywood has blossomed into a booming business and one of the great hallmarks of Indian culture. Under the shade of orange and lemon trees between the 14th February and 4th March, it will be re-imagined in the roads of Menton. Among the many sites to see are towering replicas of Ganesha, The Taj Mahal and life size elephants, constructed from thousands of lemons and oranges. Up to 18 tonnes of fruit were sourced to create these magnificent designs - no worries, they will be put to good use once the festival is over.
Indian performers and musicians were brought on to soundtrack the celebrations with authenticity and their beats were right at home during their Holi party which was a whirlwind of colour and celebration. Since Holi marks the beginning of Spring for India, it seems fitting that Fête du Citron has chosen to inculcate the concept in their own celebrations as they make their way into Springtime. There’s a move across the world towards a more widespread cultural acceptance and we’re loving it!
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