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8 Most Popular Festivals Celebrated in France

8 mins. read

Enjoy boat trips at the Seine River in Paris, watch glamorous cabaret dancers at Le Paradis Latin, and indulge yourself in the fantastic view of the Eiffel Tower from the top of Parc de Belleville on your next international trip. There is a lot that you can do in France for instance if you want to see the marvellous architecture of France then you can visit the Louvre Museum, Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris, the Eiffel Tower, the Palace of Versailles and more. If you are someone who loves adventure and entertainment, you can go to amusement parks for amazing rides and shows at parks such as Asterix park, Aquaboulevard waterpark, Disneyland Paris etc.

Also, if you want to experience the traditions and culture of French people, then you can plan your France tour on a specific month of the year when they celebrate their national festivals in France. Your holiday in France will become more memorable if you get a chance to be a part of the traditional carnivals or festivals of France such as the Mardi Gras, Festival Of Avignon, Dunkirk Carnival among others. The people of France celebrate many traditional festivals over the course of the year. So you can plan your France tour accordingly if you wish to experience the traditional and music festivals in France. Here are some of the most famous festivals celebrated in France:

1.  Dunkirk Carnival

The Dunkirk festival is a colourful festival celebrated by locals and tourists alike in Northern France. It is observed every year from January to March when people are found marching, dancing and singing cheerfully on the streets of France. The French people wear masks and disguises because anonymity is essential. The essence of this festival is that it brings people from all social classes together leaving behind their prejudices. This festival is celebrated mostly in the seaside town of Flanders near Dunkirk.

2. Menton Lemon Festival

Menton Lemon Festival

The first time Mentonians celebrated the Menton Lemon Festival called La Fête du Citron, was in 1933. It is celebrated in the Bioves Garden from 12th February to 27th February every year. The Menton Lemon festival is celebrated in the small coastal city of France called the French Riviera which is known for producing extraordinarily delicious lemons. During this festival, you can see a car or a train made of fruit and there are parades made of lemons and oranges with marching bands and entertainers wearing colourful costumes. The exhibition of gigantic citrus fruit sculptures in the Biovès Gardens though is the real show stopper. These massive figures are up to 10 meters tall and use as much as 15 tons of fruit.

3. Bayonne festivities

Bayonne festival also called fêtes de Bayonne is celebrated in the town of Bayonne from 26th July to 30th July. The French observe it with fireworks, traditional dances, musical and street performances and parades. They celebrate it out on the street, dressed in traditional Basque clothing. During this festival in France, people enjoy Basque dances, chariot parades, concerts, public balls, songs, cow races, bullfights, Basque balls and fireworks.

4. Bastille Day - National Festival

La Fête de la Bastille or Bastille Day is the national festival observed in France on the 14th of July with parades and fireworks. It is celebrated to commemorate the anniversary of the rebels as they stormed the Bastille, a military fortress and prison on July 14, 1789. This day marks the fall of Bastille which signalled the beginning of the French Revolution. This national holiday is celebrated in all parts of the country; however, if you want to experience the true vigour and passion of the French, you should most definitely visit Paris to witness the festivities from close. The streets of France get filled up with parades and the day ends with magnificent fireworks.

5. The Avignon Festival

The Avignon Festival also called the Festival d’Avignon is a famous festival in France that focuses a lot on arts and culture. It has been organized every year since 1947. It is a theatre festival that takes place in July in the streets and multiple theatres of Avignon. It was founded in 1947 by the actor, director and theatre director Jean Vilar. He coined this event as “the Dramatic Art Week in Avignon”. He also hired a troop of actors who would go on to forge the festival’s lasting legend. It invites a large number of art connoisseurs and spectators from all over the world. It is also one of the oldest theatre festivals in France that includes different mediums like music, theatre, dance and cinema. The venues where it is celebrated are scattered all over the city, and it helps budding theatre performers a lot to showcase their talent. It is celebrated from the 7th of July to the 26th of July in Avignon, Provence in France.

6. Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras is one of the most famous traditional festivals mostly celebrated in Northern France. Mardi Gras comes from the long line of pagan festivals which were adopted by the Christians in several ways. Mardi Gras, translated as ‘Fat Tuesday’, is celebrated all over the world by Catholics in the days leading up to Easter. In France, this festival is celebrated on the 1st of March every year, during its celebrations the people get out on the streets wearing beautiful, huge masks and eat tasty pancakes, delicious waffles, crepes, and omelettes all day and night. This festival was originally supposed to be a reminder to the French to abstain from eating meat in the month of Lent. But, today only a few people follow that. People from different regions in France celebrate the festival of Mardi Gras in different ways, and it usually starts with or ends in a carnival.

7. International Kite Festival

International Kite Festival is a festival for those who love flying kites. This International Festival is organized every year on 14th January at the Berck-Sur-Mer, a coastal commune in the northern region of France. Flying your kite on the vast sandy beach is a mesmerising experience for all the tourists and who gather to celebrate this festival every year. The skies of Berck-Sur-Mer get full with colourful kites of different shapes and sizes, which are seen portraying cartoon characters, animals like lizards and other things. You can come out here for a day at the beach and witness kite-flying maestros from all over the world come together and compete for attractive prizes.

8. Cannes Film Festival

Cannes Film Festival

The Cannes film festival is celebrated on Cannes beach in France. It is one of the biggest festivals celebrated in the country. Cinema lovers across the globe celebrate this festival every year from 17th May to 28th May in the French village of Cannes. It is attended by celebrities from industries like Hollywood, Bollywood and from cinemas of many countries. The Cannes film festival is a glamorous event that catches the eyes of people from the world of fashion, media and the cinema industry. If you can afford it you can attend the super lush galas and the world premiere of great movies from around the world. You can also go to the Cannes beach to watch the movies under the open skies at the Cinema called de la Plage.

Mark your calendars today, because you are yet to see the beauty of France where you can experience a whole new spectrum of the world.

February 20, 2023


Veena World
Veena World

We are an Indian travel company founded in 2013 and excel at domestic and international tour packages including guided group tours, specialty tours, customized holidays, corporate MICE travel, inbound travel and destination weddings.

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