Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in France

Markets bring a festive feel to town squares across France, even on quotidian workdays.
  • 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 across Europe


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

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

May 5:  Ascension (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 11–22:  Cannes Film Festival

May 15–16:  Pentecost and Whit Monday (closures)

May 26–29:  Monaco Grand Prix

May 28–29:  Joan of Arc Festival, Rouen (pageants)

Late May–early June:  Festival of St. Denis, Paris (classical concerts by international artists)

June 6:  72nd Anniversary of the Normandy D-Day Landing (Jour J)

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

June 18–19:  Le Mans auto race, near Loire Valley

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

June 28–July 15:  Jazz à Vienne, south of Lyon

July:  Beaune International Festival of Baroque Opera

July:  Jousting matches and medieval festivities, Carcassonne

June 30July 20:  Aix Festival (classical music and opera)

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

July 2–14:  Colmar International Festival

July 2–24:  Tour de France (starts at Mont St-Michel in 2016; culminates on the Champs-Elysées in Paris)

July 4–August 1:  Carcassonne Festival (theatre, music, dance)

July 6–24:  Avignon Festival (theater, dance, music)

July 9–August 6:  Chorégies d'Orange (performances in Roman theater)

July 13–18:  Nice Jazz Festival

July 14:  Bastille Day (closures, fireworks, revelry)

July 14–24:  Jazz à Juan, Antibes/Juan-les-Pins (international jazz festival)

Mid-July–mid-August:  Paris Neighborhoods Festival (theater, dance, concerts); also Paris Plage (ersatz beach along the Seine)

July 29–August 15:  Jazz in Marciac, southwest France

August 15:  Assumption (closures)

September 3–13:  Jazz at La Villette, Paris

September:  Festival d'Automne à Paris (fall arts festival)

September:  Wine harvest festivals across France

October 5–9:  Fête des Vendanges, Montmartre neighborhood of Paris (grape harvest festival)

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

November 1–13:  Dijon International and Gastronomic Fair

November 11:  Armistice Day (closures)

November 17–21 (likely):  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 8–11:  Fête des Lumières, Lyon (celebration of Virgin Mary, colorfully lit facades, candlelit windows)

December 25:  Christmas Day (Noël; closures)

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

December 31:  New Year's Eve


January 1:  New Year's Day (closures)

February 10–26:  Nice Carnival (Mardi Gras, parades and fireworks)

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

April 14:  Good Friday (Vendredi Saint, closures)

April 16–17:  Easter Sunday and Monday (Pâques, closures)

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

May 25:  Ascension (closures)