After the busy summer season, Autumn in France is a vibrant and magical time as the countryside becomes regaled in colour and people celebrate the best things in life with a range of festivals throughout the length and breadth of the country in the run up to Christmas. If you are looking to get away and enjoy the best of French culture and produce, this is a great excuse to cross the channel and enjoy a break in tandem with an Autumn festival in France.
Paris Autumn Festival (Festival de l’Automne) – September to December
Arguably the centre of culture in Europe and renowned for centuries as one of the artistic centres in the world, Paris is the venue for an Autumn festival from September through until December. This is major event encompassing theatre, film, music and visual arts attracting over 100, 000 people to watch artists from across the world. The festival takes place across high profile venues throughout the city including the Pompidou Centre , The National Opera House and The Louvre! This year will be the 41st festival and highlights include Japanese dancing theatre and a large representation of South African art with musicians, moviemakers, dancers and composers set to make a big impact at this year’s festival.
Cider Festival, Le Sap, Normandy
As the Autumn months arrive in Normandy attention turns to harvesting the precious crop of apples to produce cider and calvados for which the region has been renowned for centuries. The ancient cider making craft is commemorated every year as a celebration of Norman history which has left a legacy of cider making through much of this part of France. Each year Le Sap plays host to a two day festival that showcases the best of Normandy’s cider and local cheeses. This year the celebration takes place on the 9th and 10th of November, offering visitors a taste of Normandy amidst a friendly and musical atmosphere.
Beaujolais Nouveau Day
The perennial transition from summer to autumn also heralds perhaps the most anticipated harvest in France. The fresh grape crop signals the race to produce the first wine of the season, of course, the deliciously fruity Beaujolais Nouveau. The third Thursday in November is a special day for the French who are rightly proud of their wine making tradition and Beaujolais Nouveau day is marked by music, parties and fireworks across the country. Perhaps the most famous festival this auspicious event is Les Sarmentelles held each year in Beaujeu, essential the heart of the Beaujolais region. The celebration encompasses a wide range of the very youngest wines for visitors to sample. With a torch light parade in the evening and fireworks to follow, the wine is flowing well into the early hours.