January 13, 2012
The Cote de’Azur is alive and buzzing all year-round, even in February, when much of France and other European countries seem to be reduced to a late-winter lull just waiting to be woken up the spring.
The town of Mandelieu-la-Napoule, just to the southwest of France is particularly ‘alive’ in February, when it hosts the annual Fete Du Mimosa, a festival which brightens the soul and refreshes the spirit.
Birds soaring through the cloudless blue sky above the Cote d’Azur, their feathers ruffled slightly by the brisk late-winter air, you see them sweep down towards the dazzling yellow tree protruding from the cliffy rock faces, contrasting avoidably with the azure water of the Mediterranean and the equally azure sky, the air is sweet with the fragrance from the mimosa tree, and you know that winter is officially over.
This is the essence behind the celebrations that take place on the Cote d’Azur to celebrate the blossoming of the mimosas.
Between the town of Mandelieu-la-Napoule and the village of Tanneron, Europe’s largest forest of mimosa can be found and it therefore seems provident that in the town of Mandelieu-la-Napoule, locals have celebrated the emblematic mimosa flower for decades, with a horde of spectacularly colourful displays, parades , markets and arts and crafts.
This colourful and deliciously fragranced festival takes place in mid-February each year but the Cote d’Azur’s celebration of the mimosa stretch much further than a mere few days in February.
Every year the region organises a constellation of events that span from mid-January until mid-March. During this time, eight villages on the Cote d’Azur participate in the ‘La Route des Mimosas’, a “trail” that consists of various activities, guided walks, celebrations and tours, all dedicated and centred around the blossoming mimosa.