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December events in France

PUBLISHED: 13:27 01 December 2017 | UPDATED: 16:31 05 December 2017

Fete de la glisse at Rock on Ultimate © Nicolas Lafay / Avoriaz tourisme

Fete de la glisse at Rock on Ultimate © Nicolas Lafay / Avoriaz tourisme


From music festivals to food festivals, and of course Christmas markets, there are plenty of events and festivals happening in France in December

Rock on Ultimate, Avoriaz

The ski resort of Avoriaz in the Portes du Soleil area celebrates the opening of the 2017/18 season with Rock on Ultimate, a weekend of celebrations from 15-17 December. Ski and snowboard brands will be letting people try out their new gear in the festival village, and free concerts will be taking place. There is also a children’s zone where kids as young as three can learn to snowboard.

Strasbourg Christmas market © Alexi TAUZIN / FotoliaStrasbourg Christmas market © Alexi TAUZIN / Fotolia

Christmas markets

The French Christmas markets are among the most beautiful and largest in Europe. The oldest market in France takes place in the pretty city of Strasbourg and gathering nearly 300 stalls or artisan food and traditional toys. Colmar and Mulhouse’s Christmas markets are also highly recommended and are wonderful places to soak up the Christmas spirit. Although the most famous marchés de Noël are in eastern France they can be found in most French towns – see our pick of Christmas markets in France.



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La Grange au Lac at Evian ResortLa Grange au Lac at Evian Resort

Jazz at the Grange, Évian-les-Bains

For it's second year the Évian resort on the edge of Lake Geneva is hosting the music festival Jazz at the Grange, which takes place from 15-17 December. International artists will take to the stage to perform songs from the jazz, funk and soul genres, with performances starting each day at 3pm in the Grange au Lac. Prices start at €20 for a one-day pass.

Kaladjula Band at Africolour © Zahra AgsousKaladjula Band at Africolour © Zahra Agsous

Africolor festival, Paris

If you want to brighten up your December, then head to Paris where the Africolor festival is heating up venues across the capital and its suburbs with lively African music. This year, the 28th edition of the festival is taking place from 17 November to 24 December, offering an insight into Africa today with the chance to discover the continent’s heritage and culture through its music, as well as film screenings, exhibitions, poetry readings and debates.

Fiera di a Castagnain Bocognano in CorsicaFiera di a Castagnain Bocognano in Corsica

Fiera di a Castagnain Bocognano, Corsica

There are few winter treats as festive (or tasty) as chestnuts, and the Fiera di a Castagnain Bocognano, Corsica from 15-17 December is the perfect excuse to stock up on these seasonal snacks. Founded in 1982, the fair is the biggest agricultural event of its kind in Corsica and is attended by over 150 exhibitors. In addition to chestnuts, visitors can also feast on cheese, (including the Corsician speciality, brocciu) pastries, hazelnuts, honey, wine and beers. Musical performances, Corsican literature and an artisanal craft market also add to the festive merriment.


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Festival des Lanternes © Lantern Industry GroupFestival des Lanternes © Lantern Industry Group

Festival des Lanternes dans le Tarn, Gaillac, Tarn

The little town of Gaillac in Tarn is hosting a spellbinging light show of Chinese lanterns called the Festival des Lanternes dans le Tarn which is being held in Europe for the first time. From 1 December to 31 January, dozens of handmade silk lanterns depicting Chinese symbols and traditions such as dragons, temples and peacocks will illuminate the Parc Focaud alongside the Christmas market. Originating from China, the festival is held in different locations every year. In addition to the lantern displays, visitors will be wowed by the acrobatic displays, fire-eaters and performances of martial arts.

Scallops © JOB Nicolas / Brittany TourismeScallops © JOB Nicolas / Brittany Tourisme

Coquille Saint-Jacques en Fête, Grandcamp-Maisy

Seafood enthusiasts are in for a treat at the annual scallop festival being staged in the Norman port of Grandcamp-Maisy on 2 and 3 December. Events include tastings and cookery classes, a market and concerts of maritime songs. Visitors can also sample the famous matelote dish prepared by local fishermen.


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