A Mediterranean floral carnival celebrates the turn towards sun and summer on the Cote d’Azur in southern France
(TRAVPR.COM)UK - January 30th, 2012 - For a short while when winter weather recedes, the hills behind the Cote d’Azur are suddenly a dazzling bright yellow, as thousands of aromatic mimosa-flowers bloom, signalling the start of spring.
This change of season puts the population in a party mood too. Very close to Cannes, the town of Mandelieu-La-Napoule, dubbed ‘the Mimosa Capital’, holds an annual ten-day celebration, a carnival in all but name, this year from 17th-26th February.
Processions throughout the week bring to life all the varied inspiration the costumiers have spent months working on, from musical mimes, harlequinade and horsemen, to cheerleaders and full-scale tropical dance troupes. But the scene remains dominated by the home-grown, sweet-scented yellow flowers.
The main parade is very high-spirited and colourful, with numerous floats showing great inventiveness and clever animation of giant figures. The riders are sometimes whole musical ensembles, carefully costumed, typically following cinematic or regional themes.
Dressing for a South Sea island fantasy may be a little optimistic in temperature terms, but the Miss Mimosa contest finds plenty of entrants in ball-gowns as well as bikinis, riding the flowery floats and showering delighted crowds with yellow petals.
Well-supplied to cater for hungry spectators and fire-eating unicycling artistes, the town’s famously beautiful location is the perfect backdrop for this cheerful occasion, and rich in local cultural interest.
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