December events in France
PUBLISHED: 13:27 01 December 2016 | UPDATED: 11:16 08 December 2016
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 2016/17 season with Rock on Ultimate, a weekend of celebrations from 9-11 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.
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.
Jazz at the Grange, Évian-les-Bains
This year, the Évian resort on the edge of Lake Geneva is rolling out a brand new music festival, Jazz at the Grange, which takes place from 16-18 December. International artists will take to the stage to perform songs from the jazz, funk and soul genres, with performances starting each day at 4pm in the Grange au Lac. Prices start at €20 for a one-day pass or, if you fancy a pre-Christmas splurge, you could always treat yourself to an accommodation package that’s tailored to the festival. Packages start from €492 per person.
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 18 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, Corsica
There are few winter treats as festive (or tasty) as chestnuts, and the Fiera di a Castagnain Bocognano, Corsica from 9-11 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.
Longines Masters, Paris
The European leg of the Longines Masters series, this unmissable equestrian gathering runs alongside the Paris Horse Show at the Paris-Nord Villepinte exhibition centre and unites the world’s finest riders and equestrian sport fans for a thrilling and glamorous programme of events. Around 50,000 spectators watch show jumping on an Olympic-standard technical course and browse the numerous pop-up boutiques in the ‘Prestige Village’, containing everything from fashion to gastronomy.
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 6 and 7 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.