CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to France Magazines today CLICK HERE

December Events in France

PUBLISHED: 11:31 28 November 2018 | UPDATED: 11:31 28 November 2018

Test out ski and snowboard gear in Avoriaz this December. Pic: Taquiman, CC BY SA 2.0

Test out ski and snowboard gear in Avoriaz this December. Pic: Taquiman, CC BY SA 2.0

Archant

From lakeside jazz festivals to chestnut fairs, get stuck in with these events taking place across France in December 2018

Festival des Lanternes - 1 December - 6 February 2019

Gaillac, Tarn

After a successful inaugural event, seeing over 250,000 visitors, this stunning Chinese lantern festival is back. This year it is even bigger, with a whopping 3.5 hectares of lights to marvel at. Lantern festivals date back to the Tang dynasty, between the 7th and 10th centuries, and this is the biggest one of its kind in France.

The lanterns at this Chinese-inspired festival in Gaillac are enchanting. Pic:Lantern Industry GroupThe lanterns at this Chinese-inspired festival in Gaillac are enchanting. Pic:Lantern Industry Group

festivaldeslanternes-gaillac.fr



Fête des Lumières - 6-9 December

Lyon

This much-anticipated light festival transforms Lyon into an illuminated idyll. The event has its roots in the 19th century, when the Lyonnais placed lit candles in their windows to mark the installation of a statue of the Virgin Mary on Fourvière Hill in December 1852. This tradition has grown into one of the world’s biggest light shows, with more than 50 illuminations brightening up the city’s streets, parks and public squares.

fetedeslumieres.lyon.fr



Fiera di a Castagna - 7-9 December

Bocognano, Corsica

Corsica’s chestnut fair sees hundreds of artisans and around 20,000 aficionados descend on the village of Bocognano to celebrate all things nutty. At the Fiera, considered to be the most important regional fair on the island, you can buy chestnuts in every form: fresh, grilled, ground into flour, coated in chocolate and mixed into cakes. Which is your favourite?

You can anything and everything chestnut-themed at the Fiera di a Castagna in Corsica. Pic: Pierre Bona, CC BY SA 3.0You can anything and everything chestnut-themed at the Fiera di a Castagna in Corsica. Pic: Pierre Bona, CC BY SA 3.0

fieradiacastagna.com



Les Habits de Lumière - 14-16 December

Épernay, Marne

Celebrate Christmas in the champagne capital with over 40,000 gourmands. This year’s theme is Jules Verne, so ‘machines fantastiques’ inspired by the novelist’s universe will be on parade. Don’t miss the Habits de Saveurs on Saturday night, celebrating the region’s gastronomic heritage with the best chefs and cuvées on offer.

habitsdelumiere.epernay.fr



Jazz at the Grange - 14-16 December

Évian-les-Bains, Haute-Savoie

A relatively new addition to the bulging French jazz calendar, Jazz à la Grange at Évian-les-Bains makes a refreshing breather from the Christmas carols we’ll be hearing on repeat this month. Now in its third year, the festival takes place at the legendary Grand au Lac concert hall. The grand finale is a jazzy twist on the Carnival of the Animals led by actor Denis Podalydès.

The setting for the popular jazz festival La Grange au Lac at the Evian ResortThe setting for the popular jazz festival La Grange au Lac at the Evian Resort

lagrangeaulac.com/festival/jazz-a-la-grange



Rock On Snow - 14-16 December

Avoriaz, Haute-Savoie

If you’re in Avoriaz for the opening weekend of the ski season, don’t miss this winter sports gear festival. More than 50 brands will be presenting the newest ski and snowboard equipment that you can test out, as well as showing off the latest technological innovations.

avoriaz.com/en/events/rock-on-ultimate



Fête de la Dinde - 14-16 December

Licques, Pas-de-Calais

This festival of all things turkey in the small Pas-de-Calais village of Licques culminates in a Sunday morning bird parade. Here, the farmers of the Confrérie de l’Ordre de la Dinde, donning traditional costumes, proudly present their feathered broods to onlookers.

Forget Chicken Run - the turkeys have pride of place at this festival in Licques. Pic: Flament, Pas de Calais TourismForget Chicken Run - the turkeys have pride of place at this festival in Licques. Pic: Flament, Pas de Calais Tourism

paysdopale-tourisme.fr



Les Trans - 5-9 December

Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine

This contemporary music festival is a trend-setter. It is renowned for launching talents; many artists who have performed here have gone on to be even bigger stars. The line-up is very eclectic; performers in previous years have ranged from Björk to Fat Boy Slim, Stromae to the Kaiser Chiefs.

lestrans.com



Les Arcs Film Festival - 15 Dec- 22 Jan

Les Arcs, Savoie

Forget the Hollywood Walk of Fame; here it’s all about the Slope of Fame! Over 120 films will be shown in the resort for this festival, celebrating ten years of cinematic success. This year’s President of the Jury, in the festival’s tenth year, is Force Majeure director Ruben Östlund.

Enjoy après-ski film viewings at the Les Arcs film festival. Pic: Andreas Eichler, CC BY SA 4.0Enjoy après-ski film viewings at the Les Arcs film festival. Pic: Andreas Eichler, CC BY SA 4.0

lesarcs-filmfest.com



Article by France Magazine France Magazine

More from Travel

Friday, December 7, 2018

These welcoming and wonderful Christmas markets are just a short trip across the Channel away, so what are you waiting for?

Read more
Thursday, December 6, 2018

When it’s cold outside, indulge your love of French food and drink at one of these stylish pop-ups and events closer to home

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Discover the Christmas delights of northern France with our top five Christmas markets in the region

Read more
Wednesday, November 28, 2018

From lakeside jazz festivals to chestnut fairs, get stuck in with these events taking place across France in December 2018

Read more
Thursday, November 22, 2018

You can ditch the airport queues and long drives, and hit the rails instead, says Daniel Elkan. The French Alps has an abundance of ski resorts that suit families, easily accessed by train.

Read more
Monday, November 19, 2018

Budget travellers can pay nothing to stay at bed and breakfasts around the world during Barter Week in exchange for manual, creative or teaching activities

Read more
Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Find out when your favourite French ski resort opens and closes this year and start planning your ski trip to France

Read more
Winter trips
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Find out what events are taking place in France to commemorate the Armistice centenary.

Read more
Friday, October 26, 2018

The full route of the 2019 Tour de France was announced in Paris on 25 October

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

From hot air balloon gatherings to scallop festivals, there’s always something fun and unique going on in France in November

Read more
Subscribe for

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

France Forum

Questions about France? Visit our free France forum to get help and advice from thousands of other Francophiles and expats. Topics include: property, tax, law, travelling, pets, education, healthcare and much more.

Join the forum

Most Read

Join us on social media

France magazine
Living France magazine
French Property News magazine

Enter our competitions

Win books, DVDs, travel and even holidays in France in our great competitions! Take a look at our latest competitions…

Enter now