Top Things to do in December 2018 in France

Written by on October 27, 2018 in Month By Month

National Holiday in France: Christmas Day (Noël) December 25

Licques: Festival des Dindes, 15-16 December 2018

A charming festival where turkeys are celebrated in the little town of Licques Hauts-de-France (Pas de Calais). Held over a weekend, on Sunday morning, hundreds of turkeys are released to “rampage” through the streets accompanied by local brotherhoods and dignataries in all their finery! There’s also a gastronomic fair with wine tasting and food for all your Christmas luxuries. www.cote-dopale.com

Roubaix: Braderie de l’Art, 1-2 December

In the Nord, Hauts-de-France town of Roubaix, a 24-hour art festival features 150 international artists, designers, stylists, graphic artists, painters, sculptors. They use their imagination and skills to re-craft everyday objects into works of art which you can buy from €1 to €250.00. While you’re there, pop into the fabulous La Piscine museum, a stunning building and fabulous collection. www.facebook.com/braderiedelart/

Lyon: Festival of Lights, 6-8 December

The people of Lyons will, as they have for the last 150 years, light candles and put them in the windows of their homes and the city puts on a spectacular light show. www.fetedeslumieres.lyon.fr/en

Nancy: Fêtes de Saint Nicolas, 23 November – 6 January 2019

There’s much more to St Nick than a crimson red suit and a reindeer-drawn sleigh, as Les Fêtes de Saint Nicolas in Nancy in north-east France, Grand Est (Lorraine)shows. The spirit of the Christmas figure can be seen all over the city with a Christmas market, street parades, puppet shows and concerts. www.nancy-tourisme.fr/sortir/grands-evenements/saint-nicolas/

Castellet: Nativity Trail, 24 November to 6 January 2019

The classic story of Christmas is told in the commune of Castellet in the Var, Provence through the annual Nativity Trail. Visitors will be able to discover the nativity story along the village’s streets, with 30 nativity scenes, some traditional, some not so conventional, perched on windowsills, hidden in the hollows of walls or among garden trees. Created by some of the village’s 120 inhabitants, nativity figures are made from clay, papier mâché, wire and even vegetables, a unique way to discover the area. www.ville-lecastellet.fr/

Valras Bain de Noël

In the town of Valras, Occitanie (Herault) join Father Christmas for a plunge in the Mediterranean at the annual Bain de Noël. Head for Valras beach, near Béziers, where the water will be about 15°C; chilly but refreshing! If you can’t face getting into the water, watch from a warm vantage point with a vin chaud. Mid December date to be confirmed: www.ville-valrasplage.fr

Féeries de Noël Morzine, 17 December to 7 January 2019

Auvergne-Rhone Alpes (Haute-Savoie) Morzine. For two weeks in December and January the Alpine village of Morzine is transformed into a winter wonderland with festive workshops, light shows and a Christmas market. Don’t miss the ice-sculpting classes, pyrotechnic ballet performance on the slopes, 3m Christmas tree and Père Noël descending the Pleney Piste by torchlight on skis. www.avoriaz.com/evenements/feerie-des-lumieres

Carpentras Les Noëls Insolite (A Different Kind of Christmas), 15 December – 6 January 2019

The streets of Carpentras in Provence are transformed into a Christmas story with 150 free shows performed by artists from all over Europe. There are also huge Christmas trees and street lights, carriage rides through the town, a food market, a Foire aux Santons, a giant Provençal nativity scene and magic shows. www.noelsinsolites.fr/accueil.html

Chestnut Faire Corsica, – 7 to 9 December

In Bocognano, Corsica, some of the best local and international producers of chestnuts offer a taste of the most beautiful culinary specialties prepared with chestnuts, from the classic castagnaccio, a chestnut flour cake, to traditional roasted chestnuts. www.traghettiper-corsica.it

Try this delicious recipe for chestnut and apple soup from Michel Roux Jr.

Epernay Les Habits de Lumiere, 14-16 December

The famous Champagne city of Épernay, celebrates the gastronomic heritage of the region in an inviting and festive atmosphere. For three days, the city is lit up and there are lots of activities on offer, including a firework display and a big street parade on Avenue de Champagne, exhibitions, musical entertainment, cellar tours and a whole host of shows for children and adults. On the Sunday morning there is a parade of several hundred collector’s cars, and in the afternoon, there is a special tea party for children. habitsdelumiere.epernay.fr/

We don’t want to give you any bad information so we only put the dates if we’re absolutely certain of them but, things do change so we give you a website wherever we can where you can check the dates and all other details.

If you run an event or know of an event you think we should include please do let us know via our contact form.

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