Upcoming Holidays and Festivals in France

Market day, Sarlat-la-Canéda, 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

2018

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

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

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

May 6–13:  Nuits Sonores, Lyon (electronic music festival)

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

May 9–20:  Cannes Film Festival

May 10:  Ascension (closures)

May 19:  Night of Museums, across France (museums stay open late and for free)

May 20–21:  Pentecost and Whit Monday (closures)

May 24–27:  Monaco Grand Prix

May 25–26:  Joan of Arc Festival, Rouen (pageants)

May 26–June 10:  D-Day Festival, across Normandy

May 31–July 5:  Festival of St. Denis, Paris (classical concerts by international artists)

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

June 1–3:  Rendez-vous aux Jardins (noteworthy gardens open to the public), Paris and elsewhere

June 1–10:  Paris Beer Week

June 6:  74th Anniversary of the Normandy D-Day Landing (Jour J)

June 16–17:  Le Mans auto race, near Loire Valley

June 20–August 4:  Chorégies d'Orange (performances in Roman theater)

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

June 28–July 13:  Jazz à Vienne, south of Lyon

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

July 3–31: Carcassonne Festival (theatre, music, dance, plus jousting matches and medieval festivities)

July 6–29:  Beaune International Festival of Baroque Opera

July 4–14:  Colmar International Festival

July 4–24:  Aix Festival (classical music and opera)

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

July 7–29:  Tour de France (culminates on the Champs-Elysées in Paris)

July 8–September 3: Paris Plage (ersatz beach along the Seine)

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

July 14–22:  Jazz à Juan, Antibes/Juan-les-Pins (international jazz festival)

July 17–21:  Nice Jazz Festival

July 17–August 5:  Paris Neighborhoods Festival (theater, dance, concerts)

July 27–August 15:  Jazz in Marciac, southwest France

August 3–5 (likely): Jasmine Festival, Grasse (flower-themed parades)

August 15:  Assumption (closures)

August 31–September 13:  Jazz at La Villette, Paris

September:  Wine harvest festivals across France

September 1–2:  Braderie de Lille (world's largest flea market)

Mid-September–December 31 (likely):  Festival d'Automne à Paris (fall arts festival)

September 15–16:  Heritage days (Journée du patrimoine; special openings and tours of monuments and other historical sites across France)

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

September 22 (likely):  Technoparade, Paris (starts at Port Royal, ends at Place de la République)

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

October 4–13 (likely):  Oktoberfest Paris

October 6 (likely):  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 (likely):  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 (likely):  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)

Mid-February–early March (2 weeks):  Lemon Festival, Menton

Late February (1 day):  Le Corso Fleuri, Bormes-les-Mimosas (traditional flower parade in coastal Provence)

April 19:  Good Friday (Vendredi Saint, closures)

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