This weekend is the 36th annual Infiorata di Noto, or Noto Flower Festival. This year’s theme is “Benvenuta Catalogna” or “Welcome Catalonia.” Over the last few days, along the Baroque town’s via Nicolaci, different art-school groups have been laying out their mosaic designs of flower petals and other natural materials into “carpets” that reflect this year’s theme of Spain’s autonomous region, Catalonia. Utilizing elements including fennel, wheat, lavender, myrtle, olive and other tree leaves, carob powder, beans, dirt, sunflower seeds, onion, and of course, flower petals of different colors and species, the artists create vibrant images that inspire visitors who come from all over the world. On Friday, they’ll inaugurate the festival, which also includes a street fair, live music and dance performances, poetry readings, and art exhibitions. When it’s all over, on Monday, the town’s children are invited to gleefully destroy the “carpets,” a ritual that represents sweeping out the old and bringing in the new.
(Please note, this photo, which is meant to be for reference, is from the 2012 Infiorata in Castelbuono.)