The Lou Messugo Blog - life in the south of France from a British/Australian TCK's perspective, bringing you French culture, travel on the Côte d'Azur and beyond, expat issues and a little bit of je ne sais quoi all mixed up with a hefty dose of photography.

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May is the month of the rose and where better to celebrate this than in the world’s perfume capital, Grasse, on the French Riviera.  Every year, over a weekend in early to mid May, the city honours the rose in all its forms at a 3 day festival, ExpoRose.  This year 8500 bouquets, 13000 rose bushes and over 25000 cut roses decorated fountains, statues, shop fronts and public squares throughout Grasse.  Dance and music performances, tastings of everything rose-flavoured, along with a market selling rose-themed gifts and food, and of course rose plants of every colour and variety imaginable, complete the festival. 

ExpoRose rose festival Grasse French Riviera

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Sunday Photo - red carpet in Cannes

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Playmobil in Cannes

Tagged in: Cannes children festival
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Travel with kids: festivals around the world

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festivals with kids MKB carnivalToday's post is a first for me: I'm hosting the Multicultural Kid Blogs monthly blogging carnival on travel with kids.  Travelling with my kids is something regular readers will know I'm passionate about so I'm delighted to be able to collate an article with contributions from bloggers all around the world on this subject close to my heart.

logoMKBcarnivalThe theme I have chosen for this carnival is visiting/participating in festivals, fairs, fêtes and cultural events across the globe as a way for children to understand more about a particular place or culture.  Travelling far isn't always possible for families for numerous reasons including the two main ones of time and cost, but travel doesn't have to be far to be rewarding - "travel at home" is just as important as overseas or foreign travel.   What is seen as normal or mundane by one person might be seen as exciting or exotic by another so in the case of an international blogging carnival one blogger's visit to a local food fair in Europe is as interesting and relevant as another's visit to a tribal festival in Africa.  

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Lyon, France's third largest city, has just celebrated its Fête des Lumières, a massive festival of lights and I was there.  And by massive, I mean that surprisingly it's the world's third biggest annual event (in terms of visitor numbers) after Rio carnival and Oktoberfest.  Who knew?  Certainly not me.  With an estimated 3-4 million visitors, it really is massive!  

Grand roue fête des lumières Lyon

But it hasn't always been this way, it only really started to get big about 15 years ago, originally it was a quiet affair which began in the 19th century.  A golden statue of the Virgin Mary was erected on Fourvière hill, next to the Basilica, in gratitude for saving Lyon from the Plague (many centuries before).  The date for the inauguration was planned for the 6th of September 1852 but owing to floods it was delayed for two months until the 8th of December.  A series of manifestations including fireworks were planned for the day but they were cancelled because of bad weather.  In their disappointment, having had the celebrations delayed already, the people of Lyon spontaneously lit up their windows with candles in coloured jars. Thus a tradition was born which continues to this day.  In 1989 the city of Lyon started illuminating the main historical sites and the rivers though it wasn't until 1999 that the festival was officially declared over a 4 day period and it became the event that it is now.

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