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Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in France

Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in France

Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in France

  • Before planning a trip around a festival, verify the festival dates on the festival’s website or with a local tourist information office. For more information about these and other events, visit the official tourism sites for France and Paris.
  • This list includes major festivals in major cities, plus national holidays observed throughout France. Many sights and banks close down on national holidays — keep it in mind when planning your itinerary. Note that this isn’t a complete list; holidays can strike without warning.
  • See upcoming holidays and festivals

2018

Through October:  International Garden Festival, Chaumont-sur-Loire

September:  Wine harvest festivals across France

September 10–December 31:  Festival d’Automne à Paris (fall arts festival)

September 21–October 6:  Festival Musica, Strasbourg (contemporary classical music)

September 26–29:  Monaco Yacht Show (pricey exhibition of mega-yachts)

October 4–14:  Oktoberfest Paris

October 6:  Paris Nuit Blanche (illuminated public art, concerts, all-night public transit)

October 10–14:  Fête des Vendanges, Montmartre neighborhood of Paris (grape harvest festival)

October 28:  Fête de La Pomme, Trévières (apple harvest festival near Honfleur)

November 1–11:  Dijon International and Gastronomic Fair

November 1:  All Saints’ Day (La Toussaint; closures)

November 11:  Armistice Day (closures)

November 17–19:  Les Trois Glorieuses, Beaune (wine auction and festival)

Late November–December 24:  Christmas markets (particularly fun in Strasbourg, Colmar, and Sarlat-la-Canéda)

December:  Christmas carousels, outdoor skating rinks, and avant-garde Christmas trees around town, Paris

December 5–9:  Les Rencontres Trans Musicales, Rennes (up-and-coming pop, rock, etc.)

December 6–9:  Fête des Lumières, Lyon (celebration of Virgin Mary, colorfully lit facades, candlelit windows)

December 15–22:  Rise Festival, Les Deux Alpes (dance music at ski resort)

December 25:  Christmas Day (Noël; closures)

December 26:  Second Christmas Day (closures in Alsace-Lorraine)

December 31:  New Year’s Eve

2019

January 1:  New Year’s Day (closures)

February 16–March 2:  Nice Carnival (Mardi Gras, parades and fireworks)

February 16–March 3:  Lemon Festival, Menton

February 24:  Le Corso Fleuri, Bormes-les-Mimosas (traditional flower parade in coastal Provence)

April–October:  International Garden Festival, Chaumont-sur-Loire

April 19:  Good Friday (Vendredi Saint, closures)

April 21–22:  Easter Sunday and Monday (Pâques, closures)

April 27–29 (likely):  Great Roman Games, Nîmes

May 1:  Labor Day (Fête due Travail or Fête du Premier Mai; closures)

May–July:  Versailles Festival (classical music, opera, dance, contemporary art)

May 8:  VE (Victory in Europe) Day (Fête de la Victoire 1945 or Jour de la Liberation; closures, parades)

May 14–25:  Cannes Film Festival

May 18:  Night of Museums, across France (museums stay open late and for free)

May 23–26 (likely):  Monaco Grand Prix

May 24–25 (likely):  Joan of Arc Festival, Rouen (pageants)

May 25–June 9 (likely):  D-Day Festival, across Normandy

May 29–June 2:  Nuits Sonores, Lyon (electronic music festival)

May 30:  Ascension (closures)

May 30–July 4 (likely):  Festival of St. Denis, Paris (classical concerts by international artists)

May 31–June 2 (likely):  Rendez-vous aux Jardins (noteworthy gardens open to the public), Paris and elsewhere

May 31–June 9 (likely):  Paris Beer Week

June–July:  Nuits de Fourvière, Lyon (theater and music in a Roman theater)

June 6:  75th Anniversary of the Normandy D-Day Landing (Jour J)

June 9–10:  Pentecost and Whit Monday (closures)

June 15–16:  Le Mans auto race, near Loire Valley

June 19–August 6:  Chorégies d’Orange (performances in Roman theater)

June 21:  Fête de la Musique (concerts and dancing in the streets throughout France)

June 27–July 12 (likely):  Jazz à Vienne, south of Lyon

June 29–July 21:  Tour de France (culminates on the Champs-Elysées in Paris)

July–August:  Cannes Festival of Pyrotechnic Art (fireworks)

July 2–30 (likely): Carcassonne Festival (theatre, music, dance, plus jousting matches and medieval festivities)

July 3–13 (likely):  Colmar International Festival

July 3–22:  Aix Festival (classical music and opera)

July 5–23 (likely):  Avignon Festival (theater, dance, music)

July 5–28 (likely):  Beaune International Festival of Baroque Opera

July 7–September 2 (likely): Paris Plage (ersatz beach along the Seine)

July 13–21 (likely):  Jazz à Juan, Antibes/Juan-les-Pins (international jazz festival)

July 14:  Bastille Day (“le 14 Juillet,” closures, fireworks, revelry)

July 15–August 3 (likely):  Festival Paris l’Été (theater, dance, concerts)

July 16–20 (likely):  Nice Jazz Festival

July 26–August 14 (likely):  Jazz in Marciac, southwest France

August 2–4 (likely):  Jasmine Festival, Grasse (flower-themed parades)

August 2–6 (likely):  Lavender parade, Digne-les-Bains

August 15:  Assumption (closures)

August 22–27 (likely):  Fête de la Saint-Louis, Sète (near Montpellier; parades, fireworks, canal-boat “water-jousting”)

August 30–September 9 (likely):  Jazz at La Villette, Paris

August 31–September 1 (likely):  Braderie de Lille (world’s largest flea market)

September:  Wine harvest festivals across France

September 14–15 (likely):  Heritage days (Journée du patrimoine; special openings and tours of monuments and other historical sites across France)

September 21 (likely):  Technoparade, Paris (starts at Port Royal, ends at Place de la République)

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