Major events to experience in France

A historic date to celebrate, a tradition to celebrate, a good meal to share or a sporting event to experience intensely... In France, whatever the season or month of the year, there is always something going on! From the Nice Carnival on the Côte d'Azur in February to the oldest Christmas market in Strasbourg in Alsace in December, not forgetting the Tour de France cycling race in July, check out our calendar of major events not to be missed.

Christmas Markets

November-December 2021

Small chalets, big fir trees and scents of spices and mulled wine... From the first Sunday of Advent, 4 weeks before Christmas, the tradition is respected with illuminations and Christmas markets everywhere in France. The most famous ? [The one in Strasbourg in Alsace (, one of the oldest in the world. The most picturesque? The Foire aux santons de Marseille, in Provence. Impossible to mention them all but they are the occasion of beautiful festivities and animations as on the Champs Elysées, in Paris or on the path of the lanterns in Metz, in Lorraine.

Christmas Markets in Alsace (External link)
Foire aux santons de Marseille (External link)

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The Festival of Lights, in Lyon

December 8 to 11, 2021

Every year for 4 days around December 8, Lyon lights up and shines for the Festival of Lights. Commemorating a religious tradition of the 19th century, all the windows of the city are adorned with luminous lights and the streets with exceptional light installations. For this spectacular event, the world's greatest designers have come up with original scenographies and glittering routes to highlight the city's formidable heritage.

La Fête des Lumières (External link)

Nice Carnival, Côte d'Azur

February 12 to 26, 2022

Every February, for two weeks, the French Riviera celebrates with the Nice Carnival, the largest in France and one of the most famous in the world. On the program: float parades, gigantic decorations, sumptuous costumes, illuminated streets, colorful parades, day and night, with hundreds of musicians and dancers, and of course memorable flower battles. Mimosa, lilies, daisies... More than 100,000 of them swirl in the streets of Nice and on the famous Promenade des Anglais, on the Mediterranean coast.

The Nice Carnival (External link)

The Armada of Rouen, in Normandy

Next edition from June 8 to 18, 2023

The largest sailing ships in the world in the port of Rouen... joined over the years by warships and barges. Since 1989, the capital of Normandy welcomes every 4 to 6 years an extraordinary fleet of boats from all over the world. On the quays of the Seine, in the streets of the city, nearly 8,000 sailors provide entertainment (free) with meetings, boardings and demonstrations. Concerts and fireworks complete the event.

L'Armada de Rouen (External link)

La Fête de la musique

June 21, 2022

Set on a unique and symbolic date, June 21, the day of the summer solstice, the Fête de la musique is a major free popular festival open to all musicians, amateur or professional. Celebrating living music and all musical practices, it is the occasion in Paris, and throughout France, of thousands of concerts where bands, harmonies, choirs, orchestras, "big band" or rock groups take to the streets and make their joyful notes resound.

La Fête de la musique (External link)

Le Tour de France

From 1ᵉʳ to July 24, 2022

This is the world's largest bicycle race, a grand loop of nearly 3,500 kilometers through the most beautiful landscapes of France. Each summer, the peloton sets off for three weeks, crossing more than a third of the French departments. The route differs from one edition to another but always with memorable mountain stages in the Alps and the Pyrenees. And since 1975, the triumphant arrival of the yellow jersey and the riders takes place on the Champs-Elysées, in Paris. Final sprint on the most beautiful avenue in the world and guaranteed spectacle!

The Tour de France (External link)

July 14, a National holiday

July 14, 2022

July 14, the day of the national holiday in France, commemorates the storming of the Bastille and the French Revolution of 1789. Confettis and good mood are part of the party and all the country struts with festivities often beginning from July 13. Fireworks (the most spectacular of which is fired in Paris from the bottom of the Eiffel Tower), firemen's balls, military parades (especially on the Champs Elysées), air parades... In the four corners of France, the festival is lived in blue, white and red.

Goût de France/Good France

Next edition in October 2021

Goût de France/Good France was launched in 2015 to celebrate the inscription of the "Gastronomic Meal of the French" on the Unesco list of intangible heritage and to promote France's terroirs and know-how. Each year, restaurateurs and top chefs from around the world offer a Goût de France menu while in Paris and throughout France, dozens of restaurants celebrate the event with dishes that are emblems of French culinary heritage.