France Festivals 2010: Fanfare for the Senses

Traveling to France for 2010? Discover the French festivities – lively and diverse, France takes the lead in entertaining tourists year round. From dance and theatrical performance to bullfighting and jousting there is something unique to experience every step of the way!

January – Head to France’s comic strip capital, Angouleme and check out the 37th edition of Festival International de la Bande Dessinée. From January 28th-January 31st check out exciting shows and exhibits, showcasing cartoons from all over the world. Download the Angouleme application for iPhone or iPod Touch from iTunes and learn all about the exciting works competing for prizes.

February – It’s definitely worth hitting the small town of Roquemaure for the annual kissing festival, La Fête des Amoureux (French site). This is a reenactment of the arrival of the relics of Saint Valentine, not to be missed.

March – Uniting art and culture from March 8th to April 18th – Festival de l’Imaginaire (French site) will bring you non-stop dance, music, and theatre performance all the way from Algeria to Zambia.

April – April 2nd-5th celebrate Easter in all its brilliance. Join the 60,000 people in Arles at the Roman amphitheatre for the first bullfight of the season, Be witness to an exciting atmosphere filled with customary events, dancers, painters, writers and diverse band entertainers from across France.

May – Celebrate all forms of jazz for the exciting 20th anniversary of Luberon Jazz Festival (French site). Taking place May 10th-16th, watch dedicated jazz performers both emerging and professional take the stage for the spectacle of the year!

June – On July 5th and 6th celebrate the medieval past with the residents of Reims. A series of exciting light shows and music, in memory of French patron saint Joan of Arc at Fêtes Johanniques (French site).

July – July brings the celebration of Les Fêtes des Gayants (French site) Head to Douai in Nord-Pas de Calais on July3 12th-14th and witness the Gayant family (five giant puppets) being carried through the city by locals and visitors. Be one of the visitors carrying the Gayant family you are sure to be a part of the action!

August – Water jousting, a tradition since 1666 reflects the very soul of the Sète’s residents. Witness this crazy tournament alongside the Fête de la Saint Louis (French site), packed with six days of exciting shows and banquet.

September – Discover the benefits and pleasure of long distance running on September 11th in the Marathon du Medoc. This festival is like no other – the race follows a path alongside famous vineyards so instead of pairing your long distance running with energy drinks and energy bars, you can enjoy the distance with appellations and local produce!

October – Walk down the Antique Quarter, rue August Comte in style. On the first Thursday of every October, the city of Lyon rolls out the red carpet for the…but think again, its not movie stars you will find strutting down this carpet. Residents and visitors will walk the carpet and enjoy street shopping, as each shop owner displays its wares. From jewelry to art objects, you will have plenty of street shopping to do! For more information on the 20th edition of Le Tapis Rouge visit Quartier Auguste Comte.

November – Don’t miss the stroke of midnight. The third Wednesday of November brings the nouveau Beaujolais (new wine), released in the town Beaujeu-en-Ligne. Stick around for tastings, dinner, an exciting street festival, music and dancing all alongside beautiful candlelight. For more information visit Les Sarmentelles de Beaujeu.

December – The Licques Turkey Festival (French site) in Nord-Pas de Calais is boasting with excitement – an indoor Christmas market, a huge party, most notably with a turkey stew and fun competitions. Save more fun for the following day, as locals in traditional costume bring the birds that didn’t make it into the turkey stew through the town. The festivities take place before Christmas, just in time to get you in the holiday spirit.