Festivals in FranceEdit This
As a traditionally Catholic country, France celebrates many holidays and festivities that are rooted in religious tradition; others reflect an agricultural past, great moments in French history and sports, or regional pride.
Summer in France
Bastille Day, or Quatorze Juillet (July 14), celebrates the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris in 1789, which precipitated other events leading to the French Revolution and the eventual fall of the French monarchy. It is commemorated with family activities, street fairs, fireworks and general revelry.
The Tour de France bicycle race is one the most famous sporting events in the world. The rigorous 3-week race begins in late June or early July, ending with the final sprint down the Champs-Elysées in late July.
Music and theatre festivals abound throughout France during the summer months. Among the most famous: Fête de la Musique held all over France on the first day of summer in June, Avignon Theatre Festival (Provence) and the International Jazz Festival in Antibes and Juan-les-Pins (Riviera) in July and the Interceltic Festival (music and arts) in Lorient (Brittany) in August.
Autumn in France
Wine and harvest festivals can be found in villages and small towns all over the country in September, October and November. The world famous wine auction at the Hospice de Beaune in Burgundy is held in November.
The Gypsy pilgrimage to Saints-Maries-de-la-Mer (Provence) is in October.
Toussaint (All Saints Day) on November 1 is a family affair, remembering those who have passed on. It is a national holiday, as is November 11, the day that World War I ended.
Winter in France
Christmas markets in Alsace and Provence attract visitors looking for traditional crafts and age-old rituals.
Carnaval is the 2-week period leading up to the Catholic season of fasting and self-denial, called Lent. Nice hosts the biggest carnival in France, attracting more than 1 million revelers each February with parades and the famous Battle of the Flowers.
Spring in France
Easter and the Holy Week that precedes it is an important holiday period in France and despite the fact that children of many religions now attend French public schools, spring breaks are organized around Easter.
The Cannes Film Festival is the place to be seen in mid-May, when movie people of all types and nationalities show up on the red carpet along the Mediterranean.
Traditional transhumance festivals take place in rural villages at the end of May, when the flocks are moved to summer pastures at higher elevations.
Travel film festival in les Mages, Gard, France
A two day film festival to discover foreign exotic countries, hiking path or just people