What’s on: Ten exciting events across France in September

No need to for back-to-work blues as September promises to be a fun-packed month in France. Here is our list of this month's unmissable events.

What's on: Ten exciting events across France in September
Competitors in the colourful Marathon du Medoc. Photo: AFP

Marathon du Medoc, 10th September

Organisers claim the Marathon du Medoc takes the longest to run out of all the marathons in the world, with runners given up to 6 hours to complete this fancy dress race. Participants can also make pit stops along the way at various chateaux and food stops and sample the region’s finest wines and local delicacies.

Each year, runners dress up according to the marathon’s various themes. This year, the theme is ‘Tales and Legends’, so think of your favourite fairytale characters, and get costume-making.

Click here for more information.

Last year's winner. Photo: AFP

Jazz à la Villette, Paris, 30th August – 11th September

Prolong your summer with this 12-day jazz festival at La Villette. The line up promises an eclectic mix of pop, funk and soul as well as jazz performances. The festival, which has been running since 2002, even offers shows specially adapted for child audiences. This year the line-up features acts from a host of big names in hip-hop and soul music including Nas, Talib Kweli and Laura Mvula. 

For the full programme, click here.

Photo: Jazz a la Villette

Monaco yacht show, 28th September – 1st October

Marvel at some 125 one-off superyachts at Monaco’s annual yacht show, which takes place at the beautiful Port Hercules. The world’s largest international yacht exhibition attracts plenty of tourists, yacht enthusiasts and billionaires every year. 580 exhibiting companies are participating this year, and 40 new launches are to be unveiled so don’t miss this opportunity to get a look at some of the world’s most beautiful boats, in a very glamorous location. 

For more information, click here.

Photo: AFP

Lille Reste en Fête, Lille, 4th-6th September

Despite organisers having to cancel Europe’s largest flea market the ‘Braderie de Lille’ this year due to the high risk of terror attacks, the city has organised a replacement with a variety of fun events happening over that weekend.

These include comic and bande-dessiné market which will be held at the the Palais des Beaux-Arts, with well-known writers and illustrators holding performances and book signings. The ‘foire aux mane1ges’, a fun fair boasting over 150 attractions, will also go on as usual this year on Lille’s Champ de Mars. 

For more information on what's on, click here.

Photo: Maëlick/Flickr

European fair Strasbourg, 2nd-12th September

With over 1,000 exhibitors taking part, this annual cultural fair is one of September’s major events in France.

Each year the fair is themed after a different country. This year’s theme country is Tunisia. Head down to discover Tunisian foods, traditions and culture. 

Click here for more information. 

Photo: Marius Brede/Flickr

Journée du patrimoine, 17-18 September, 2016

French cultural heritage sites open their doors up to the public on this weekend in September. There will also be activities held throughout the country, including exhibitions, workshops, walks and conferences. 

This opportunity to explore some of France’s most exciting points of interest comes around just once a year, so make sure you find out what’s happening near you. 

Click here for a full list of events. 

You can get a rare glimpse inside the Elysee Palace. Photo: AFP

Technoparade, Paris, 24th September

Tens of thousands of electro fans flock to the streets of the capital every year for the Technoparade. Music fans and DJs mixing music atop floats will meet 12pm at Port Royal. The parade ends 5km away at Place de la République. 

For more information, click here.

Photo: Technoparade

Rene Magritte exhibition, Centre Pompidou, Paris, 21st September – January 2017

A new exhibition on the surrealist artist opens at the Centre Pompidou in September, entitled ‘The Treachery of Images’. Around a hundred of Magritte’s paintings will be on display, as well as drawings and other archived documents. The last exhibition dedicated to Magritte at the Centre Pompidou was back in 1979, so this is will surely be one not to miss. 

Click here for more information. 

© Centre Pompidou, mnam-cci /Dist. RMN-GP, Photo : G. Meguerditchian © Adagp, Paris 2015

Fête de la gastronomie

This three-day food festival takes place throughout France, giving the food enthusiasts the chance to attend tastings, cookery workshops and picnics. Bringing food experts and foodies together, it is a celebration of France’s culinary tradition. 

For the full programme, click here. 

A video of last year's festival.
Fete de la Lune, Paris, 14th-17th September 
Head to the 13th arrondissement of Paris for their celebration of the annual ‘fête de la lune’, the second biggest festival in the Chinese calendar. This year’s festival is set to be a vibrant display of ancient Chinese traditions, with lots of Asiatic music, dance shows and exhibitions to enjoy. 
Click here for more information. 
Traditional mooncakes and Chinese tea. Photo: Wee Keat Chin/Flickr
By Fatima Al-Kassab

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What’s On in France: Nine great things to do in November

It's getting colder in France, but why not heat up your social calendar with a few of these events?

What's On in France: Nine great things to do in November
Photo: AFP

Jazz sur La Ville Festival, Marseille, November 5th to December 2nd

“Life is a lot like jazz. . . it's best when you improvise,” said George Gershwin.

Get ready to feel jazzy as this year celebrates the twelfth edition of the Jazz Festival in Marseille, welcoming a seemingly endless list gifted artists. The festival, offering dozens live concerts, stretches out from Marseille to other locations in the region such as Aix-en-Provence and Avignon. So if you live in the south-east region of France you have no excuse.

Le Salon de la Photo exhibition, Paris, November 8th to 12th

Head to the Porte de Versailles for the chance to appreciate the creative works of modern-day photographers. The Photographers' Corner, where amateurs and professionals display their work, is not to be missed at Le Salon de la Photo exhibition. 

Chocolate Fair, Lyon, November 9th to 11th

Forget Cadbury's chocolate as Lyon, the widely known capital of gastronomy, has some tasty treats for you to get your teeth stuck into. The eighth edition of the chocolate fair, held at the Centre de Congres, is offering culinary demonstrations, cooking workshops and of course the famous parade of chocolate dresses that will be taking centre stage. Think of it as Paris Fashion Week meets Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. 

Herring Festival, Etaples sur mer, Calais November 10th & 11th 

Dressed up in traditional costumes, the people of Étaples meet up on the banks of the Canche River in northern France to celebrate their favourite fish. Every year, thousands of people join them to enjoy herring in all its delicious forms – pickled, grilled, or smoked and accompanied of course by lots of wine.

France-wide: Armistice Day November 11th 

On Armistice Day, France honours those who fell or were injured during World War I with commemorative services. As 2018 marks the centenary of The Great War, memorial services this year are sure to be especially poignant. In Paris, a military parade will take place, and a ceremony will be held at the tomb of the Unknown Soldier under the Arc de Triomphe. 

Beaujolais Nouveau Festival, November 15th

As the world's best wine party (as thought by many beaujoholics) is fast approaching, will you be ready to uncork a fruity bottle of Beaujolais Nouveau at the stroke of midnight? The festivities will be marked by fireworks, music and various parties to celebrate the region's first wine of the season

Beaujolais Nouveau day is one of France's most loved festivals. Here are 14 things you probably didn't know about it.

Africolor Festival, Paris, November 16th to December 22nd 

This music festival is bound to bring some colour back into your life during this cold and depressing time of year. The festival, which started out in the Parisian suburbs and has now spread across the whole city and its surroundings, features artists from all over Africa.

Christmas Market Colmar – November 23rd to December 30th

Though it may seem a bit early, the Christmas market in the picturesque town of Colmar in the Alsace region kicks off in late-November. Wandering around the illuminated city, trying out Alsatian specialities, and sipping from a mug of mulled wine will definitely get you into the Christmas spirit.

Salon des Vins, Paris, 29th November to December 2nd

At the foot of la Porte de Versailles, this exhibition will be a great opportunity for wine lovers to personally meet local sellers and to discover new wines as well as the history behind them.