Champagne: Fêtes Johanniques in Reims Honoring Joan of Arc
Each year, the Fêtes Johanniques in Reims celebrate the coronation of King Charles VII, urged by the legendary Joan of Arc to take the throne after retaking Orléans and her victory in Patay - forever changing France's destiny, which was then dominated by the English and their allies.
Since the baptism of Clovis, the city has been the main site of French royal coronations. The festivities, especially popular with local residents, celebrates both the coronation of the king as well as the critical role Joan of Arc played in getting him there. Her figure is ever-present at the young king's side in recreations of the July 17, 1429 coronation.
Carrying on the Tradition: The City Celebrates its History
Each year at the beginning of June, Reims celebrates this moment in royal history with the requisite pomp and circumstance. After a ceremony in front of the Joan of Arc statue, it's coronation time! A parade proceeds through town towards the Cathedral, with almost 500 participants adorned in all their best medieval costumes, accompanied by period music. Some musical troupes even come from abroad to participate in the event.
Over the course of two days, the entire city offers a true journey to the past. On the outskirts of the celebrations, a medieval village will be set up from May 13 to May 14, with artisans and shopkeepers in full period costume. Discover their handmade wares and their traditional savoir-faire; participate in different workshops (combat, illuminated writing, money minting); enjoy the sounds of troubadours reciting their ballads or the many medieval music concerts, which will resonate through the streets and squares of the city.