If you are in Adana at the beginning of April, then you’ll be right on time for the first bloom of the city’s orange flower buds, whilst also being met by a frantic crowd in all sorts of colorful costumes. So allow yourself to get swept away by the fever of the Orange Flower Carnival…
In Adana, the blooming of the orange flower, whose sweet aroma pervades the streets at the end of March, is seen locally very much as a harbinger of spring; and for the last five years has been celebrated with its own public festival. Turkey’s first and only street carnival, held every year since 2013, the ‘International Orange Flower Carnival’ is this year scheduled to be held on Saturday 8 April. The carnival takes place between the 4th-9th of the month, and aims to turn Adana’s town squares into a sea of colorful costumes, with crowds of festival-goers enjoying the many cultural and artistic activities on offer. Dance shows, university band performances, musical showcases and sports competitions are all available to enjoy amongst a costumed crowd, as the pleasing scent of the orange flower emanates through the air.
The all-embracing carnival
The pioneer of the Orange Flower Carnival, which has since taken on an international dimension, was Toyota Turkey’s Marketing and Sales Company CEO, Ali Haydar Bozkurt. According to Bozkurt, the most important aspect of the carnival – which has characterized it from the start is “embraces all, leaving no-one out.” Emphasizing the festival’s fraternal spirit, the CEO says, “the Orange Flower Carnival is the first-ever event brought to life with the aid of local and state authorities, NGOs, prominent local figures, the media, celebrities and private companies. One of the greatest features of the carnival is how it serves as a kind of art platform. We invite all locals and guests from afar to enjoy an atmosphere full of love, fraternity and tolerance forged by the miracle of the budding of orange flowers.”
‘A Week in Adana in April’
A number of events, including the carnival itself, are run as part of the ‘Week in Adana’ series of events, and this year are not just restricted to Adana but take place in Mersin, Tarsus, Cappadocia, Antakya, and the greater Adana region’s Mediterranean shores. If you are curious about this fun, fragrant festival, or have attended before and couldn’t get enough, then April is the perfect time to fly to Adana!
- Getting in Touch with The Carnival Committee: If you have any thoughts, ideas or suggestions for events to be included as part of the Orange Flower Carnival, then why not get in touch with the ‘Adana April Carnival Committee’ by writing to [email protected] For regular updates on the carnival, check out nisandaadanada.com.
- Fit for Outdoor Sports Lovers: Adana is home to many active cycling and motocross groups which run daily, or longer camping tours which can be taken from Adana city center to Karataş and Yumurtalık on the Mediterranean coast, or all the way to Karaisalı, Sarıçam or Kozan. The province, which skirts the foothills of the Taurus Mountains, are full of climbing areas and hiking routes perfect for those who love outdoor sports – especially in the Çakıt Valley and Aladağlar regions. Çakıt also awaits those who dare with free diving and paragliding opportunities.
- The Delicious Tastes of Adana: Due to both its Mediterranean location and cosmopolitan demography, Adana is the place where all the flavors of Mediterranean, Turkish and Middle Eastern cuisines stew together in a perfect blend. The city has a wide array of small restaurants serving local delicacies such as dolma, kısır, lentil patty, garlic patty, stuffed patties, pastry rolls, gözleme, and şırdan. Probably the most famous local dish, however, must be the famous ‘Adana Kebab,’ which was certified by the city’s Chamber of Commerce as an exclusive product of the town.