International Orange Blossom Carnival

International Orange Blossom Carnival
The Turkish city of Adana lies in the heart of Cilicia, a geo-cultural region that is widely regarded as the country’s most agriculturally productive area, due to its large stretch of fertile soil. The farmers of Adana produce 29 percent of oranges in Turkey. When the orange trees lining the city’s streets are in full bloom, Adana hosts the International Orange Blossom Carnival.

The orange blossom season in Adana starts in April. The Orange Blossom Carnival was inspired by the scent coming from the orange tree lined-streets. It was initiated by Ali Haydar Bozkurt, a local entrepreneur. The inaugural carnival was held from April 12–14, 2013. Its procession featured about 15,000 revelers in vibrant costumes.

The Carnival has been held every April since its inception under the slogan “In April in Adana” (“Nisan’da Adana’da”). The event is held some time between April 5 and 20, and the carnival parade usually takes place on the second Saturday of April. It is a colorful procession that attracts almost 100,000 spectators, which makes it the largest outdoor event in Adana.

Along with the parade, the program of the Orange Blossom Carnival includes live concerts and shows in the city’s parks, squares and streets, exhibitions, sporting events, special nighttime concerts, contests and competitions, spontaneous street celebrations, and more. Some of the events are open and free for everyone to attend, while others have paid admittance. And, of course, there are plenty of local delicacies to enjoy, such as the famous Adana kebab, lahmacun (Turkish pizza), various pastries, sour cherry juice, and more.

As we’ve already mentioned above, the most important events take place on the second Saturday of April. They include the presentation of the Carnival Court, the opening ceremony and concert, the Carnival Parade, and the Cortege Competition Awards Ceremony.

The 2016 Carnival was more subdued than usual because of the March 2016 Ankara bombing. The opening ceremony of the Carnival was canceled, as well as some of the largest events planned for April 9, 2016. Instead, smaller events and activities were held in selected areas, but attendance was still impressive.

The event was cancelled in 2020 and held online in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2023, it was cancelled due to the 2023 Turkey–Syria earthquake.

International Orange Blossom Carnival

Photo: murat guney




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