The best French festivals in August

Orange, Vaucluse

If you think that the Tour de France is the only exciting event to take place in France in summer, think again. There are tons of festivals that await you in the summer months, and many of them are just as exciting as the famous Tour de France, and even more so if you are not interested in cycling to begin with. There’s an eclectic selection of French festivals or you to choose from, ranging from opera music to gourmet cuisine and sports. So if you travel to France this summer, here are some of the best French festivals in August.

Les Chorégies d’Orange, Orange, Vaucluse

The town of Orange in Vaucluse is the site of the oldest music festival in France, dating back to the 1860s. This is no ordinary music festival, although it is attended by thousands of people. It takes place is an atmospheric Roman theater built in the first century CE, whose stage is actually still standing. The festival is centered on opera music, with performances of Aida and Rigoletto this year. The festival ends at the beginning of August.

La Pourcailhade, Trie Sur Baïse, Hautes-Pyrénées

La Pourcailhade, or the Festival of the Pig, is one of the most unusual festivals in France, taking place every year in the hamlet of Trie Sur Baïse. The festival is organized by the Brotherhood of the Pig, in honor of the animal, but also its meat. You can see piglet races, take part in a sausage eating competition, and even a pig squealing imitation contests.

Strasbourg International Film Festival, Strasbourg

If you missed the Cannes Festival, you can still go to a film festival à la française in Strasbourg. This festival focuses on new and emerging film makers, and edgy, creative films that dare to break the traditional mold. If you like independent film festival where you can be the first to discover an artistic gem, you’ll have loads of fun.

International Celtic Festival, Lorient, Brittany

One of the best French festivals in August in the International Celtic Festival, taking place in one of the most ‘Celtic’ places in France, the lovely Brittany. The festival features musicians, artists, film makers, dancers and even academics from places of Celtic heritage: Scotland, Asturias, Wales, Isle of Man, Australia, USA and others.

Arelate Festival, Arles

Arles has a rich heritage as an important Roman settlement, and this is what the Arelate Festival (the festival’s name comes from the original Latin name of Arles) proposes to do : celebrate all things Roman. From arts and crafts to ancient Roman sports competitions, reenactments and talks on history to guided visits to Roman monuments, you can find out a lot about the ancient history of Arles in a fun way.

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