Spring-Summer Events in France
If you’re planning a holiday to France this summer, why not soak up some of the local culture at one of the many festivals and celebrations that are held throughout the country?
From live music and theatre to grand parades and street parties, France’s spring-summer events are the perfect way to go beyond standard tourism and enjoy a truly unique holiday experience. With DFDS Seaways you can travel to Northern France in a matter of hours. Here are a few key summer events you may want to take the opportunity to explore:
International Kite Festival (April)
If you’re planning a trip to Calais in April, be sure to stop by the small coastal commune of Berck-Sur-Mer for the International Kite Festival. Over half a million spectators flock from all over the world every year to witness this magical gathering of kiting enthusiasts, featuring breath-taking models from all over the world – from vast inflatables to Japanese ‘fighting kites’. The festival lasts well into the evening with special displays by illuminated ‘night kites’ and dazzlingly choreographed team performances.
Les Folies Festival (May)
For over twenty years the French commune of Maubeuge has hosted the Les Folies festival, a lively and varied celebration of theatre, music and the arts. A perfect festival for the whole family to enjoy, Les Folies is a five-day festival packed with outdoor activities, including street theatre, a procession, live music and a huge range of performance artists. Each year sees a different theme introduced to give the festival a unique flavour, so no two visits will ever be quite alike!
Douai Festival of the Giants
An energetic two-day festival that is so highly regarded that UNESCO have listed it as a non-material heritage treasure, the Festival of the Giants in the northern town of Douai celebrates the legend of the ‘Gayants’, a mythical family of giants dating back to the middle ages. The highlight of the annual festival sees a raucous parade in which effigies of the giants are carried through the streets, accompanied by a huge procession of dancers, performance artists and musicians, regularly joined by over 80,000 spectators.
Often referred to as France’s answer to American Independence Day, Bastille Day celebrates the storming of the Bastille Prison in 1789, the first major event in the French Revolution. Events and celebrations are held all over France on this day, the largest of which being the Bastille Day Military Parade on the Champs-Élysées avenue in Paris, usually followed by street parties and spectacular firework shows.
Festival de Cornouaille, Quimper
The annual Festival de Cornouaille usually takes place on the last Sunday in July, and celebrates the rich history of Breton Culture, including traditional music, dance, theatre and costumes, culminating in a massive parade through the Brittany town of Quimper. Many major stars of the Celtic music scene have appeared at this festival, making it a must for fans of folk and traditional music.
Getting to Northern France
At DFDS Seaways we run regular daily crossings to France across four major routes – Dover to Calais , Dover to Dunkirk , Newhaven to Dieppe and Portsmouth to Le Havre . With multiple crossings throughout the day, all year round, our ferry services are the perfect way to enjoy anything from a day trip or weekend break to a full-length vacation.