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©Palais des Festivals

The mascot of Cannes

Cannes has its mascot!

With his benevolent eye, Léro has been watching over Cannes and its inhabitants since the beginning of time. Discreet but nevertheless curious, it seems that he has put a paw in the city… so keep an eye out!

A mysterious creature

Once upon a time in the Middle Ages, there was a marvellous creature that made the whole of Provence tremble, as much as it amazed it with its panache. The story goes that on fine days, a shadow could be seen hovering over the towns, valleys and mountains, brushing the highest trees with its wingtips and shaking the church bells.

Provence was his playground: mysterious blue footprints, which did not resemble any known animal, sometimes appeared in the meadows or on the beaches. But no one had ever been able to identify their origin. As comfortable in the air as in the water, it is said that the animal could dive and without taking a breath, swim for hours on the bottom of the sea, taunting the ships returning from the Orient. Some spoke of a crest, others claimed to have seen a tail.

The marvellous creature was at the heart of all discussions and legends, giving rise to the most far-fetched tales.

A shadow over Cannes

Naturally discreet, the animal had taken up residence on the still uninhabited Lérins islands, off Cannes.

A green island, facing the horizon, it was both his paradise and his prison. He knew every corner of it, and although he knew it was wiser not to show himself so as not to scare off potential travellers unnecessarily, he could hardly resist exploring the surroundings.

When night fell, his discreet dress allowed him to get closer to the humans, whom he dreamed of knowing better. He finally dared to approach the village in front of him and hidden in the darkness he was present at all events. He only returned to his island at daybreak for fear of being spotted.

The Meeting

One summer morning, his tranquillity was disturbed when a ship landed on his island. Believing it to be deserted, a lone man had come to seek rest for his soul and dedicate his life to God.

Saint-Honorat, a monk in the making, soon discovered that the island was infested with snakes, which he heroically managed to get rid of (but that’s another story). However, it took him several days to realise that he was sharing the island with a much more unexpected creature…

On several occasions during his explorations he saw mysterious coloured footprints, the largest he had ever seen. On the surface of the sea he seemed to see a deep blue ridge. Then one night, as he slept, he was awakened by a breath and felt himself being watched, but he thought it was a bad dream. The next night he pretended to be asleep, watching for any movement in the darkness.

It was then that an almond-shaped, bright white eye appeared, with a reptilian pupil staring back at him.

The fight

Saint-Honorat, the brave one, decided to find out for sure and pursued the intruder. Under the light of the moon he discovered a majestic blue-skinned dragon. The legendary creature that everyone had been talking about for centuries was now standing before him! Terrorized, he engaged the dragon in a fist fight. The dragon could have devoured him, burned him or even scratched him, but it did not!

To frighten the man, he struck the ground with his tail. He put all his strength into it, so that the earth shook, splitting the island in two. This is how the islands of Sainte-Marguerite and Saint-Honorat came into being. The dragon dived into the water and disappeared.

Saint-Honorat continued to live on the island that now bore his name, even founding a monastery there. On the other hand, the largest and wildest island remained uninhabited for several centuries… Well, uninhabited, perhaps not quite….

Since that day, only a legend remains of the blue dragon, a creature that has watched over the town of Cannes and its inhabitants for centuries. It is said that, when the weather is clear, a shadow can be seen swimming between the town and its islands.

Keep an eye out

Since Cannes has now turned blue with its new identity, it would seem that our dragon is tempted to put a paw in the city.

If you keep an eye out for him, you might see him too… Don’t worry, his name is Léro and if you give him a warm welcome, he will show you life in blue

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Follow the adventures of Léro on Instagram

@lero.cannes