French Festivals & Public Holidays

fete-remparts-dinan_jousting Planning your trip to see or participate in French Festivals or public holiday events can really boost your holiday’s success. So here is some useful information.

          Public Holidays

      January 1 New Years Day
  April Easter Monday
  May 1 Labour Day
  May 8 Celebration of end of WW11 in Europe
  May 21 Ascension
  July 14 Independence Day  “Bastille Day”
  August 15 Assumption
  November 1 All Saints’ day
  November 11 Armistice
  December 25 Christmas day
Most banks, administrative offices and businesses are closed on public holidays. However, many museums and restaurants open – possibly on a restricted hours basis.


A Selection of Major Festivals in France: 

France hosts over 100 festivals annually, some small and regional, others national in their significance. Whether your interest is in culture, history, gastronomy, music, sport or the arts, you can discover a festival, carnival, fair or special event that just may be a highlight of your itinerary.

A selection of  French Festivals includes:




May Cannes International Film Festival
Paris French Open Tennis Tournament
Monte Carlo Formula 1 Grand Prix
Vaison La Romaine Georges Brassers Festival
Sarlat Journée du Terroir – 2 day local produce market
June Paris French Open Tennis Tournament (continues)
Nationwide Anniversary of “D Day”
Strasbourg International Music Festival
Montpellier International Dance Festival
July Nationwide July 14th – Bastille Day
Vaison La Romaine Vaison Dance Festival
Dinan – Brittany Fete des Remparts de Dinan
Aix-en-Provence International Arts & Music Festival
Sarlat Theatre Games Festival – one of France’s premier Drama Festivals
Lille Carnaval Do Axe”
Nationwide Tour de France
Juan-les-Pines International Jazz Festival
Souillac Sim Copans” International Jazz Festival
Arles “Les Rencontres Internationales”   International photographic expose
August Orange  “Les Choregies d’Orange”  Opera, concerts and oratorios
Monte Carlo International Fireworks Festival
Vaison La Romaine Music in the Vineyards
Libourne Festival of Arts
September Dijon International Folkloriade & Wine Festival
Médoc Marathon
Paris Technoparade”
Beaune Jazz à Beaune”
October Nancy Nancy Jazz Beat
Armagnac Festival of Armagnac
Lyon Fête de la Chataigne” (Chestnut fair)
Paris Nuit Blanche” (White Night)  City wide celebrations
November Beaujolais Beaujolais Nouveau Release
Dijon Dijon International Gastronomic Fair
Troyes ” Nuits de Champagne”  2 week long Music Festival
December Lyon Festival of Light
Montbelliard Lights of Christmas
Paris/Strasbourg Christmas markets
Nationwide Midnight Mass and “Réveillon” (late night feast)
January Sarlat Truffle Festival (3rd week)
February Sarlat Fest’oire – celebrating geese with goose fair
March  Nice Nice Carnival (Mardi Gras, parades and fireworks)
 April Chaumont-sur-Loire International Garden Festival




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