How many oranges and lemons to make Mary Poppins?

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How many oranges and lemons to make Mary Poppins?

Be warned – there is a lot of orange and yellow coming up, so perhaps put on a pair of sunglasses…

Menton’s celebrated Fête du Citron (Lemon Festival) is in full swing at the moment, which means the town is heaving and it’s impossible to find anywhere to park – but of course it’s all great fun. Each year there is a different theme and this year it’s ‘Broadway!’    Preparations for the floats and static ‘motifs’ began months ago: a metal frame is constructed for each exhibit or float which is then covered in wire netting and each lemon or orange is fixed to the wire with a rubber band. This year 240 tonnes of fruit have been used – that’s over 1 million lemons and oranges. The fruit is not local but comes from Spain (it’s cheaper!) and because the famous Menton lemon has an ‘appelation controle’ – like wine. And it takes 500,000 rubber bands and a lot of man-hours for create these wonders.

 

The Lion King

It takes a lot of workers a lot of time for the wonders of the festival to be created in oranges and lemons. And that includes painting everything orange and yellow of course!

 

 

‘Cats’

Each Sunday there is a Corso (a carnival parade) through the town. This year the security is high so long waits to get into the area on the ‘Corso’ days – enormous trucks block all roads to the centre. And everyone is happy and thankful about that following the horrors of Nice on the 14th July last year.

Oops – confetti on the lens!

 

‘Les filles’ gettng ready …

‘Grease’ – John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John

It looks like an anomaly of nature, doesn’t it but in fact this lemon, known as the Hand of Buddha (Citrus medica var. sarcodactylis), is one of the oldest members of the citrus family. Although it smells strongly of lemon, it has no juicy pulp hidden beneath its rind. Instead, the Buddha’s Hand is grown commercially for its powerful zest. The aromatic rind is used to flavor lemon liqueurs and specialty vodkas, and provides aroma to lemon-scented cosmetics. Chinese and Japanese households use it to perfume their rooms and personal items, such as clothing. It even has a place in some religious ceremonies in buddhist temples. According to tradition, Buddha prefers the “fingers” of the fruit to be in a position where they resemble a closed rather than open hand, as closed hands symbolize to Buddha the act of prayer.  You can buy this tree at the Fete du Citron in Menton.

The Corso is over – time to go home …

In French:

Attention! – il va y avoir beaucoup d’orange et de jaune, donc peut-être mettez une paire de lunettes de soleil …

La célèbre Fête du Citron de Menton bat son plein en ce moment , ce qui signifie que la ville est animée , qu’il est impossible de trouver un endroit où se garer, mais bien sûr, c’est la fête. Chaque année, il y a un thème différent et cette année, c’est “Broadway”!

Un cadre métallique est construit pour chaque pièce ou char et il est ensuite recouvert de toile métallique sur laquelle chaque citron ou orange est fixé au fil avec une bande de caoutchouc. Cette année, 240 tonnes de fruits ont été utilisées, soit plus d’un million de citrons et d’oranges. Les fruits ne sont pas locaux mais viennent d’Espagne (c’est moins cher!) parce que le fameux citron de Menton bénéficie d une ‘appellation contrôlée’ – comme le vin. Et il faut 500 000 bandes de caoutchouc et beaucoup d’heures de travail aux hommes pour créer ces merveilles. Une exposition permanente se tient dans le Jardin Bioves et chaque dimanche il y a un Corso (un défilé de carnaval) à travers la ville.

Cette année, la sécurité est importante aussi l’attente est longue pour entrer dans la zone; les jours de Corso ,d’ énormes camions bloquent toutes les rues vers le centre. Mais tout le monde est heureux et reconnaissant pour cela.

La Main de Bouddha:  Cela ressemble à une anomalie de la nature, n’est-ce pas, mais en fait, ce citron, connu sous le nom de La Main de Bouddha (Citrus médica var. Sarcodactylis), est l’un des plus anciens membres de la famille des agrumes. Bien qu’il dégage une forte odeur de citron, il n’a pas de pulpe juteuse cachée sous son écorce. Pour cette raison, la Main de Bouddha est cultivée commercialement pour son zeste puissant. L’écorce aromatique est utilisée pour les liqueurs au citron et les vodka spéciales, et elle fournit un arôme au citron pour les cosmétiques. Les ménages chinois et japonais l’utilisent pour parfumer leurs chambres et des objets personnels tels les vêtements. Elle a même une place dans certaines cérémonies religieuses dans les temples bouddhistes. Selon la tradition, le Bouddha préfère que les “doigts” du fruit soient dans une position fermée plutôt qu’une main ouverte ,les mains fermées symbolisant pour Bouddha l’acte de la prière. Et vous pouvez acheter cet arbre à la Fête du Citron à Menton.

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16 thoughts on - How many oranges and lemons to make Mary Poppins?

  • Judy February 22, 2017Reply

    OMG I wish I were there. I keep trying to convince my dear husband that it is a necessity of life to be there!!!!! We both love Menton.

    • Jilly
      Jilly February 22, 2017Reply

      I wish you were both here too, Judy. Come back soon!

  • Laura February 22, 2017Reply

    Memories dear Jilly, your superb pics come to life and add colour and warmth to this grey cold windy day in the UK.
    XLaura

    • Jilly
      Jilly February 28, 2017Reply

      So pleased Laura you like the photos. Thanks for the comment x

  • Melinda February 22, 2017Reply

    Spectacular!!! I bet there was not one room in any hotel in Menton at the moment!!! What a wonderful place to be – especially at your Fete de Citron time !!!!

    • Jilly
      Jilly February 28, 2017Reply

      I think you’d be right about the hotels, Melinda. Glad you enjoy the photos and thanks. x

  • William Kendall February 22, 2017Reply

    Amazing, marvelous shots, Jilly!

    • Jilly
      Jilly February 28, 2017Reply

      Thanks so much William x

  • michael February 23, 2017Reply

    Wonderful photos as usual Jilly! You are amazing!

    • Jilly
      Jilly February 28, 2017Reply

      I can stand a lot of comments like that, Michael! Love to you both x

  • Ray February 26, 2017Reply

    the colour, the atmosphere, the zest of life….you capture it so well…..always a great start to my day, especially on a cold grey winter morning….love it

    • Jilly
      Jilly February 28, 2017Reply

      Ray, thanks so much. So glad you like it!

  • Catherine February 26, 2017Reply

    Wonderful report Jilly. Each year a pleasure ! We’ve seen on your blog it with Gabriel with great pleasure. So colored !

    • Jilly
      Jilly February 28, 2017Reply

      Catherine, thanks so much. So glad you like the images. Hope to see you back in Menton one of these fine days, dear Catherine x

  • LIBERA MENTE March 19, 2017Reply

    Belle fotografie che rendono omaggio a tutti coloro che ci hanno lavorato.
    Ciao Jelly, ti seguo da anni, dopotutto a Mentone è pieno di piemontesi e fa anche piacere rivedere i colori della costa azzurra

    • Jilly
      Jilly March 20, 2017Reply

      Grazie mille Libera Mente. Sono così felice di sentire che avete goduto le mie foto per tanto tempo e davvero felice di avere un bel messaggio così da voi. (Google Translation!)

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