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Lingo Map: Regional Characteristics of the South of France

14 April 2017

Salut tout le monde!

The sun is shining and I’m loving my last few months living in the South of France! If I’m honest I’m not sure how I’m going to adapt back to life in Cardiff….clouds and rain with highs of 13 degrees don’t appeal somehow….Not after the sunshine and 23 degree lifestyle I’ve become accustomed to! A funny thing I’ve learnt this year is that stereotypes are true to an extent. The French do genuinely walk around carrying baguettes and the English do love talking about the weather!! As has just been proved by me.. 😛

Some useful weather expressions when living in the South of France:

  • Quel temps fait-il? – Whats the weather like?
  • Le soleil brille – the sun is shining (because it will be at least 80% of the time ;))
  • Il fait chaud – it is hot
  • Il fait un soleil de plomb – its a blistering hot day!
  • Chaleur d’août, c’est du bien partout – In the heat of August everything’s fine
  • coup de foudre – lightning bolt (the Mediterranean climate means that Grasse is sometimes subject to storms)
  • C’est orageux – It is stormy

Asides from the glorious weather the South is known for, the Côte d’Azur has many other regional characteristics. One of them is the delicious fresh fruit grown in the region.

La Fête du Citron

Oranges growing on trees
Oranges growing on trees in the street

A regional festival I went to recently is La Fête du Citron. Every year at the end of February there is a festival in Menton to celebrate the vast production of citrus fruits in the region. This year it was the 84ème Fête du Citron and the theme was Broadway. Over 145 tons of citrus fruits were used and over 300 professionals worked on the project. Broadway installations made from oranges and lemons were paraded through the streets on floats, there were processions of lights and a garden exhibition filled with giant Broadway exhibits made entirely from citrus fruits! Thousands of fruit are used to make each sculpture and the result was stunning.  The event attracts over 240,000 visitors every year and is renowned all over the world!

The Lion King
The Lion King made of oranges and lemons!
The Beauty and the Beast
The Beauty and the Beast

This year some of the installations were:

  • Singing in the Rain
  • The Lion King
  • Les Miserables
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • The Phantom of the Opera
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • West Side Story
  • Mary Poppins
  • Beauty and the Beast
  • Amongst many others!

Expo Rose

Another regional event takes place in Grasse which is known as the perfume capital of the world. Over four days in May, thousands of roses are brought and exhibited in the town. Both individually cut flowers and rose bushes are displayed in all different colours and varieties to celebrate the role the rose has played in Grasse and it’s perfume production. Last year over 25,000 roses decorated the town centre and there were 13,000 rosebushes for sale! There are floral bouquet competitions, rose scented relaxation spaces and culinary workshops with rose jam and scented candles.

Roses decorating a fountain in Grasse

Both of these festivals demonstrate the boundless creativity that the South of France offers. I’m looking forward to attending the festival next month!

À vous

What festivals do you have in your region? I’d love to hear from you!

Hope you enjoyed reading,

Emily 🙂



1 comment
  1. Alison

    Wow! The displays look amazing! I bet the smells are fabulous too.
    Believe it or not Cardiff has blue skies today … yay!
    Great blog, thanks.

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