Every spring, in the beginning of May, the city of Cordoba, in southern Spain, bursts into bloom with special festivities as the city launches into its spring celebrations. It starts off with a parade known as the “Battle of the Flowers”, followed by the much anticipated Patio Contests called “Los Patios de Córdoba” or “Fiesta of the patios”. During the next two weeks, the people of Cordoba throw open the doors to their private patios as a fierce competition for the most beautiful patio ensues. Patio owners decorate their ornate iron grills and balconies with plants and flowers, mainly jasmine, geraniums and carnations. Carpets of flowers, handmade Islamic mosaics, and striking water features adorn the courtyards. Normally the patios are privately owned and unavailable for public viewing, but during the festival the beautifully decorated patios are open for all to see. The best conserved and most beautiful patio is voted on and the winner is recognized not only with a monetary prize but also with the prestige and admiration of having the best patio in the city.
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