Girona welcomes Spring with thousands of flowers on every corner

As has been traditional over the last 58 years, when spring arrives the city of Girona dresses up with flowers and colours abound during a week at the festival “Girona, Temps de Flors”. There is much more than flowers: music and gastronomy also participate in this festival of smells, tastes and magic images of a city that completely changes from the 11th to the 19th May. In this edition the floral installations are displayed in 142 spaces, eleven more than last year, consolidating the Festival as the most important floral event in Catalonia.

Marina Presas / Helena Xirgu

May 13, 2013 05:19 PM

Girona (CNA).- Spring has sprung and Girona smells of festival. The largest city in the northeast of Catalonia is dressed up with flowers from the 11th to 19th May for the “Girona, Temps de Flors” Flower Festival. Hundreds of courtyards, gardens and city nooks and crannies placed in the heritage and cultural highlights of Girona are adorned with breathtaking floral installations’ designs. Concerts and gastronomy delights are also part of this festival that puts Girona in the spotlight

The 58th edition of the Flower’s Festival at Girona is including 142 exhibition spaces, eleven more than last year. What began as a local festival organised by the city’s florist guild, has expanded year by year due to the affluence of visitors and the success of the outstanding flower exhibitions, becoming the most well-known flower festival in Catalonia, as well as an acclaimed flower festival over the world.

The essentials of the Festival

During this traditional event on the Costa Brava, Girona shows its most beautiful face. Girona opens its doors to the world and welcomes the spring with flower art exhibitions displayed in its historical and cultural heritage spaces. The flowers are a great excuse to visit the hidden treasures of the city, among which are included the Cathedral stairs, the Arabic Baths, Saint Felix’s Church or the Archaeological promenade area, as well as the downtown areas. Among the hundred exhibition spaces, the Cathedral staircase is one of the most eagerly-expected areas for foreigners and locals.

The director of this exhibition space, Josep Manel Guillén, told CNA that in this latest edition, roses are playing the main role on the Cathedral’s staircase installation. “We tried to represent the Life’s Path using roses of different colours, beginning with white ones as a symbol of childhood and innocence and ending with bright red roses to symbolise maturity”, he explained. Owner of a flower shop in the centre of Barcelona, Guillén is already a veteran at “Girona, Temps de Flors”, where he has participated for years along with another flower shop in Barcelona.  “For us, participating at the Festival is a personal reward; it is a way of recognising of the flowers and plants. Around Europe flowers are part of the society but unfortunately here they are not”, the fitter added.

Flowers everywhere

Besides admiring the colourful and fragrant scenery of the city, it is also possible to bring the flowers to the palate. During the festival, many restaurants offer the possibility of tasting different dishes with flowers such as a beef hamburger with rosemary flowers or lobster salad with violet perfume. El Celler de Can Roca, awarded ‘the best restaurant in the world’ a few days ago, participates in this commemoration of flowers and spring by making a special dessert for the festival. In Rocambolesc, the ice-cream parlour that Jordi Roca – the Celler de Can Roca’s pastry chef – runs in the centre of Girona, visitors can savour an innovative ice-cream made from different kinds of  flowers.

Apart from tasting delicious dishes, those people who visit the city during “Girona, Temps de Flors” can enjoy their stay by listening to some music concerts for free. There is a wide range of options but the main one is the A Capella Girona Festival, the unique music festival on this subject in Catalonia and Spain. This second edition of the festival will have performances of international groups like the British The Boxettes, the Italians Seiottavi or the Hungarian Fool Moon, in addition of some local groups as Nàiade or Ocumé. The emplacement will be one of the most crowded parts of Girona: Independence Square, where it will be possible to listen to all kinds of music such as pop, jazz or choir singers.

The Catalan Flower’s Festival brought to the UK

“Girona, temps de flors” is attending the International Arts Festival celebrated in the Southern England town of Salisbury. Part of the cultural theme of the 2013 Festival, Arts of Catalonia, a showing of Girona’s floral installations will be placed in some of Salisbury special places on the 24th May. The festival, which will last until the 7th June, will also host other relevant Catalan cultural traditions like the history of Barça or a castellers performance, showing Catalonia’s human towers.