Contact us on WhatsApp: +33 6 95 73 52 90

5 French festivals you want to experience while in France

By Jean
Reading Time: 3 minutes

France, a country celebrated for its rich history, exquisite cuisine, and artistic heritage, also offers a vibrant array of festivals and traditions. As an international student in France, engaging in French festivals and celebrations provides a unique window into the culture. This guide highlights some key festivals that are a must-experience during your stay.

Bastille Day: A National Celebration

Bastille Day, or “Le Quatorze Juillet” celebrated on July 14th, commemorates the storming of the Bastille in 1789, a key event in the French Revolution. The grand military parade on the Champs-Élysées and spectacular fireworks, especially around the Eiffel Tower, are a display of France’s patriotic spirit. As a student, participating in these celebrations is a perfect way to feel the pulse of French nationalism.

Cannes Film Festival: A Glamorous Affair

The Cannes Film Festival, held annually in May, is a celebrated event in international cinema. Although the main events are invitation-only, the city buzzes with public screenings and events. As a film enthusiast, you can experience the glamour and excitement of this festival, offering a peek into the world of cinema and celebrity.

Fête de la Musique: A Celebration of Sound

Fête de la Musique, celebrated every June 21st, transforms streets, parks, and public spaces into stages for musical performances. This festival is a testament to France’s love for the arts and offers a fantastic opportunity for students to enjoy diverse musical styles and engage with local communities.

French festivals

Lyon Light Festival: A Dazzling Display

The Festival of Lights in Lyon, known as “Fête des Lumières” is an enchanting event held every December. This tradition, which began as a tribute to Mary, mother of Jesus, on December 8th, has evolved into a grandiose city-wide light show. Buildings, streets, and parks are illuminated with stunning light installations created by artists from around the world. As a student, this festival is not just a visual spectacle but also a celebration of creativity and innovation. It’s a perfect occasion to explore Lyon’s historical architecture in a new light, literally!

Nice Carnival: A Riot of Color and Joy

The Carnival of Nice is one of the largest carnivals in the world, taking place in February. For two weeks, the city of Nice turns into a playground of parades, floats, and entertainment. Giant, colorful papier-mâché figures, lively music, and street performers create an atmosphere of joy and festivity. The “Battle of Flowers,” a parade where intricately decorated floats are covered in flowers, is a highlight. This carnival offers a glimpse into the artistic and jovial spirit of the French Riviera and is a must-attend for students seeking a blend of tradition and fun.

Local French Festivals: Discovering Local Traditions

Exploring local/regional French festivals like the Lavender Festival in Provence and the Festival of Lorient in Brittany, helps you discover the diverse regional identities of France. These festivals are great for experiencing local traditions, cuisine, and hospitality. Here are some are honorable mentions:

  • Lavender Festival: Celebrated in Provence, the Lavender Festival marks the flowering of lavender fields. It’s a visual and sensory delight, featuring parades, traditional dances, and markets selling lavender products.
  • Festival of Lorient: In Brittany, the Festival of Lorient is a vibrant celebration of Celtic music and culture. It attracts artists and spectators from across the Celtic world, showcasing a rich tapestry of music, dance, and art.
  • Lemon Festival: The Lemon Festival in Menton, on the Riviera, is famous for its incredible citrus fruit sculptures and parades. It’s a unique and colorful event celebrating the lemon harvest.
  • Bayonne Festival: Held in the Basque Country, it is a lively event filled with music, dance, and traditional Basque sports. It’s known for its red and white dress code and festive spirit.
  • Biarritz Surf Festival: Still in the Basque Country, it celebrates surfing culture. It includes surf competitions, exhibitions, and concerts, attracting surf enthusiasts from around the world.


Embracing these French festivals and traditions as an international student offers a deeper understanding of the country’s cultural fabric. From the patriotic fervor of Bastille Day to the artistic flair of the Cannes Film Festival, the vibrant Festival of Lights in Lyon, and the colorful Nice Carnival, each event promises unique experiences. While learning the language at a language school, we highly recommend attending these festivals if you have the opportunity. You’ll find that these events enrich your stay in France, leaving you with cherished memories for a lifetime. Have fun!

Share this article

Go! Go! France

Search articles

Popular posts

French Culture
French Culture


We at Go! Go! France are all about turning your dreams of living and studying in France into reality!

Go! Go! France Blog

Related articles

Every summer, France comes alive with the sounds of music during the Fête de la Musique. This annual event, celebrated on June 21st, marks the start of summer and transforms cities and towns into open-air music festivals. For international students, the Fête de la Musique offers a unique opportunity to immerse themselves in French culture,...
One of the practical concerns for students moving to France is finding affordable and convenient dining options. This is where the “Restaurant Universitaire” (RU) system, known as student cafeterias, comes into play. This article will explore how student cafeterias work, how much they cost, who can use them, and where they are located. What is...
Pop culture has an undeniable influence on languages around the world, and the French language is no exception. This article explores how the vibrant world of pop culture impacts the French language, shaping slang, expressions, and everyday communication. The Evolution of Slang One of the most noticeable ways pop culture affects the French language is...
Father’s Day, known as “La Fête des Pères” in French, is a special occasion to honour and appreciate fathers and father figures in France. For international students living and studying in France, participating in this celebration can be a delightful way to immerse yourself in French culture and show appreciation to the father figures in...
Planning to study and live in France? Whether you’re looking to immerse yourself in Parisian culture, experience the vibrant life in Lyon, or enjoy the coastal charm of Nice, booking your flight tickets to France is the first step towards your adventure. This guide will help you navigate where to book, when to book, and...

Contact us

Any questions? We are here to help