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Folkloric Events & Festivals

 

The traditional folkloric events are truly lively, occur throughout the year enhancing the daily life of the inhabitants and add to the pleasure of visitors. There are maritime celebrations for the fishermen of Martigues and those of the Blue Coast, where tasting the sea urchins is a tradition. Events featuring bulls and the local version of cowboys (the "Guardians") of the Camargue in Arles and the Alpilles include the branding of bulls, races in the arenas or sometimes thru the streets, and bull fights both lethal and non-lethal. Other festivals revolving around the green olive harvests, the first pressings to make olive oil or the seasonal migration of sheep to the high pasture of the Alps at Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and their return celebrated in the village of Eyguières, gives you an idea of those involving the local livelihoods.

Christmas time is celebrated with the extended family at the table, midnight mass and by displaying of manger scenes. Even more unique to the region are the "Pastrages", when the sheepherder has his entire flock blessed within the church accompanied by the singing of ancient hymns in the Provencal language.

As the weather becomes warmer there are numerous parades recapturing bygone times in costume and song such as the "Picadillo" of Arles. Many towns have parades of peasant carts decked with flowers. During the month of May gypsies from all over Europe descend on the charming seaport village of Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer to baptize the statues of the fortified church in the Mediterranean Sea. The first day of summer is marked by the "fires of Saint-Jean" Festival on the town square. Sea jousting by competitive boating teams are very typical along the old town harbors of the Mediterranean, a noisy but fun experience.

Numerous summer Festivals light the evenings in towns throughout Provence. Famous amongst these are the Theatre Festival in Avignon, the Opera Festival in Aix-en-Provence and the Opera performances at the beautifully preserved antique Greco-Roman theatre of Orange. The park of the château of La Roque d'Anthéron sponsors a Piano Festival featuring the best players of our times. There are Jazz Festivals in Salon-de-Provence as well as Organ Festival in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence and Roquevaire. There are International Folkloric Festivals in Château-Gombert and Martigues. The city of Marseille has an important festival. Aix-en-Provence also has a Dance Festival. For decades Arles has hosted photographers from throughout the entire world at the "Photographic Encounters" as well as a newer Festival "Musique des Suds" which invites performers from numerous Mediterranean countries to give concerts in the outdoor antique theatre.

For those of you planning to visit Provence during other seasons there are the Film Festivals of Gardanne, Aubagne, Aix and La Ciotat. The Abbey  of Saint-Victor in Marseille host a Religious Music Festival. In autumn Marseille's docks area hosts the "Fiesta des Suds" which gives audiences a chance to hear performers from all over the Mediterranean region. If you are a lover of the harp, Arles invites performers of this instrument to give concerts throughout the city during the month of October. Lovers of the organ can attend concerts in September at Roquevaire. Aix-en-Provence has a festival for the young public in October and a Jazz Festival in November.

Throughout the year Provence hosts conferences and meetings that appeal to a myriad of occupations such as the screen writers, documentary film makers, translators and professional photographers.

 

Calendar of Events

Festivals

In March

Aix-en-Provence

> Festival International

Les Nuits Pianistiques

In April

La Ciotat

> Festival des scénaristes

In May

Istres

> Festival du film court

Istres en court

In May / June

Marseille

> Festival de la musique sacrée

In June

La Ciotat

> Berceau du cinéma


Marseille

> Festival International du documentaire

"Sunny Side of the Docs"


Salon de Provence

> Festival d'orgues de Barbarie

 

In June / July

Le Baux-de-Provence

> Festival de piano


Aix-en-Provence

> Festival International

d'Art Lyrique & de musique

In July

Aix-en-Provence

> Saison d'Aix


Arles

> Les Suds & Arles

> Rencontres Internationales

de la Photographie


Avignon

> Festival International de Théâtre

Festival d'Avignon


Châteauneuf-les-Martiguee

> Musique sous les Pins


Istres

> Les Estivales


La Ciotat

> Festival Nuits Métis

> Musique en Vacances


Marseille

> Festival de Marseille

> Festival International

de folklore Château-Gombert


Martigues

> Les Musicalies Vénitiennes


Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

> Festival Organa

> Festival de Gospel


Salon-de-Provence

> Festival Théâtre "Côté Cour"

In July / August

Aix-en-Provence

> Aix Jazz Festival

> Festival Danse & Aix


Martigues

> Festival de Martigues

"Théâtre des Cultures du Monde"


La Roque d'Anthéron

> Festival International de piano


Rognes

> Festival des Anciennes Carrières

In August

Salon-de-Provence

> Tendances Jazz Latines

> Festival de Musique de Chambre

"Musique à l'Empéri"

In September

Roquevaire

> Festival d'Orgue


Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

> Festival de Jazz dans les Alpilles

In October

Aix-en-Provence

> Festival Jeune Public du Pays d'Aix


Arles

> Journées de la Harpe


Marseille

> Fiesta des Suds

> Journées de l'image Pro (JIP)

In November

Aix-en-Provence

> Festival Tous Courts


Istres

> Nuits de la Danse

Top of the page

Folkloric Events

Sea Jousts

June to September

Martigues

Marseille

> L'Estaque & le Vieux Port

and all the towns along the sea coast

Christmas Ceremonies

Les Baux-de-Provence

> Noël aux Baux-de-Provence

Allauch

> Descente des bergers & Messe de minuit

Barbentane

> Cérémonie de pastrage

Fontvieille

> Cérémonie de pastrage

Istres

> Messe de minuit

Maussane-les-Alpilles

> Messe de minuit

Orgon

> Messe de minuit

Port Saint-Louis du Rhône

> Messe de minuit

Saint-Martin de Crau

> Messe de minuit

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

> Messe de minuit

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

> Messe de minuit

Et dans de nombreux villages...

 Christmas mangers

Allauch

> Crèche provençale laser

Aubagne

> Grande crèche vivante

Istres

> Chemin des Crèches

La Ciotat

> Crèche traditionnelle & provençale

Le Paradou

> Crèche de la Petite Provence du Paradou

In December

Istres

> Fête des bergers

"Pastorales"

 Theatrical Representations of the nativity (mostly given in the Provencal language).

 

In January

Allauch

Barbentane

Cassis

Lamanon

Marseille

Martigues

Rognac

Saint-Savournin

Trets

Ventabren

Parades for Saint-Eloi

Colorful peasant parades in local costumes and flower bedecked carts.

 

In June

Auriol

Barbentane

Eyragues

Gémenos

Jouques

Marseille

Maussane-les-Alpilles

Mollèges

Noves

In July

Maillane

Rognonas

Roquefort la Bédoule

Simiane Collongue

Allauch

In July / August

Graveson

In August

Boulbon

Cuges-les-Pins

Saint-Etienne du Grès

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Velaux

Puyloubier

Feast of Saint Jean

 Bonfires and fireworks marking the first day of summer.

 

End of June

Aubagne

Barbentane

Cabriès

Cassis

Cornillon-Confoux

Eyguières

Gardanne

Grans

Gréasque

Istres

La Roque d'Anthéron

Lamanon

Lambesc

Mallemort

Martigues

Maussane-les-Alpilles

Peynier

Port-de-Bouc

Rognes

Rousset

Saint-Andiol

Saint-Cannat

Saint-Chamas

Saint-Paul-lez-Durance

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

Saint-Victoret

Simiane-Collongue

Vitrolles

Traditions

In February

Marseille

> Fête de la Chandeleur

In March

Gardanne

> Semaine provençale

Mouriès

> Sèt Jour Pèr Prouvènço

In April

Cabriès

> Bénédiction des chevaux

In May

Arles

> Fête des gardians

Barbentane

> Fête du cheval

Meyreuil

> Semaine provençale

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

> Pèlerinage des gitans (25 & 26 mai)

Salon-de-Provence

> Fête de l'Eissame

In June

Gémenos

> Journée provençale

Grans

> Reconstitution historique

Maussane-les-Alpilles

> La Route du tissu provençal

Tarascon

> Fêtes de la Tarasque

In June / July

Marseille

> Foire à l'aïl & aux taraïettes

In July

Graveson

> Marché paysan - la fête de Bacchus

Lambesc

> Fête des moissons

Martigues

> Fête de la mer & des pêcheurs

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

> Festo Vierginenco

In August

Lambesc

> Fête des cigales

Marseille

> Fête de la Vierge du Panier

In September

Marseille

> Fête provençale de la Saint-Michel

Mouriès

> Fête des Olives Vertes

Peynier

> Fête de la Saint-Michel

Port Saint-Louis-du-Rhône

> Bénédiction des chevaux

In November

Jouques

> Fête de l'olive & anchoïade

Bull Events

In March

Maussane-les-Alpilles

> Trophée de l'huile de la Vallée des Baux-de-Provence

In March / April

Arles

> Feria de Pâques

In April

Châteaurenard

> Courses camarguaises

Miramas

> Fête des gardians

Noves

> Trophée de l'Avenir

Saint-Martin-de-Crau

> Feria des Rameaux

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

> Pâques Camarguaises

From April to June

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

> Abrivado - Course camarguaise de l'avenir

In May

Châteaurenard

> Course camarguaise

Maussane-les-Alpilles

> Ferrade de la Vallée des Baux

Noves

> Course camarguaise

Port Saint-Louis-du-Rhône

> Abrivado

Saint-Andiol

> Temporada aux Arênes

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

> Championnat d'Europe des jeunes novilleros

Tarascon

> Journée taurine

In June

Aureille

> Fête du club taurin

Eyguières

> Trophée Louis-Marie Savornin

Eyragues

> Feria d'Eyragues

Gravason

> Course de protection

Maussane-les-Alpilles

> Trophée de l'huile de la Vallée des Baux

Mouriès

> Fête du club taurin

Port Saint-Louis-du-Rhône

> Abrivado

Saint-Andiol

> Course de protection

From June to August

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

> Course camarguaise aux As

In July

Alleins

> Course de vaches - Course de taureaux neufs

Arles

> Feria des Ganaderos français

Barbentane

> Course de taureaux

Cabannes

> Festival d'Abrivado

Eyragues

> Encierro à l'Eyraguaise

> Pégoulado

Fos-sur-Mer

> Journée camarguaise

Maillane

> Bénédiction des chevaux

.../...

In July(.../...)

Maussane-les-Alpilles

> Trophée de l'huile de la Vallée des Baux

Noves

> Concours de manades

Port Saint-Louis-du-Rhône

> Toro-piscine - Abrivado - Corrida

Journée des traditions

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

> Nuit taurine

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

> Corrida du Rejon d'Or

Feria du cheval

Tarascon

> Journée taurine

In Augustt

Alleins

> Course de taureaux, Course de vaches

Abrivado

Eyguières

> Trophée Louis-Marie Savornin

Eyrargues

> Trophée d'Abrivado

Encierro de Taüs & taureaux neufs, Encierro à l'Eyrarguaise

Fontvieille

> Fête du club taurin

Fos-sur-Mer

> Journée taurine

Istres

> Course camarguaise aux As

Finale du Trophée de la ville

Maillane

> Fête de l'Union Taurine "Lou Mistrau"

Maussane-les-Alpilles

> Abrivado

Noves

> Trophée des vaches cocardières

Port Saint-Louis-du-Rhône

> Toro-piscine, course de protection

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

> Feria provençale

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

> Corrida à cheval,

corrida portugaise,

le Cheval & le Flamenco,

Feria du taureau

In September

Alleins

> Course de protection

Châteaurenard

> Trophée des Maraîchers

Rognonas

> Feria des Charretiers

Salon-de-Provence

> Abrivado

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

> Journado di Biou

September / October

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

> Courses de Taureaux

Arles

> Feria des Prémices du Riz

In October

Fontvieille

> Ferrade & aïoli

In November

Eyrargues

> Course de taureaux

Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer

> Festival d'Abrivado

"Transhumance"

 The seasonal migration of sheep troupes to their grazing grounds with the accompanying festivities.

 

In May

Saint-Martin-de-Crau

> Fête du printemps

Transhumance

In June

Eguilles

> Fête de la Transhumance

Saint-Rémy-de-Provence

> Fête de la Transhumance (Pentecôte)

In October

Eyguières

> La Transhumance

 

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> The information contained on this page was furnished by the tourist offices & public relations bureaus of the area, therefore, we can not vouch for the veracity or timeliness thereof. We welcome any information that you might pick up if you spot an error or omission and thank you in advance for your e-mail comments to the following address: survey@laplantade.com

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