What’s on in France: Eight great things to do in August 2017

If you're in France for August, you might notice the towns and cities empty out for the summer - but don't worry, there's still plenty to do for those who are left behind.

What's on in France: Eight great things to do in August 2017
Photo: AFP

Here's our pick of the best events on in France in August, from food to culture and plenty more besides.

Lama Film Festival, Until August 4th
Always wanted to head to Corsica but never had a reason? Why not pop down to the Lama Film Festival. Granted, you'll need to have a good grasp of French to understand the films, and considering it's a European Film Festival the subtitles will be in French – BUT – take a look at the video below and tell us that you wouldn't want to visit this charming town. 
Celtique Festival, Brittany, August 4th-13th

Thousands of musicians are set to descend on the town of Lorient in Brittany, western France for the annual InterCeltique festival. Brittany is one of the six “Celtic nations” where Celtic traits have survived (the others are Cornwall, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Man).

Expect Celtic music in various styles, including traditional, classical, folk, jazz, and even rock. All aspects of Celtic art will be explored over the ten days, with writers, film directors, painters and lecturers on hand.

Fête du bruit, Landernau, August 11th-13th

This annual music festival takes place in Landerneau, in Brittany, western France with this year's headliners including Texas (Friday). Tickets for the three-day pass are on sale for €118.

Feria de Dax, August 11th-15th

The town of Dax, in the south west of France, plays host to its biggest festival of the year in August for La Feria. The festival will certainly not be for everyone's taste as it involves the ever divisive Corrida or bullfighting, which has long been a tradition in the area.
But there is also plenty of entertainment on hand, including folk music, fireworks, and activities for the kids.
Jazz Festival, Ramatuelle, August 16th-20th
If you a fan of all things jazz then this is the festival for you. Head to the town of Ramatuelle on the French Riviera and listen to jazz acts to your heart's content. This year's programme includes Lisa Simone, daughter of singing legend, Nina Simone.  
Fête du Cassoulet, Aude, August 24th-28th
Who doesn't love a good cassoulet? Luckily, the name of this festival doesn't deceive, with over 40,000 varieties of the delicious French specialty on offer (learn how to cook it here).
But that's not all there is to it, Fete du Cassoulet also offers up a hearty dish of musical acts and sporting events. 
Get an idea of what to expect from the video below. Bon appetit!
Rock-en-Seine, Paris, August 25th-27th

This year, Paris's three-day summer festival features The XX, PJ Harvey, George Ezra and plenty more great acts. Buy tickets from the website.

The Chemical Brothers performing at last year's Rock-en-Seine. AFP

Do you like classical music? Look no further. This music festival is celebrating its 42nd year in 2017, and it's already showcased some since it opened earlier this summer. 
August will be no exception, with the southern French town playing host to a range of choirs (including Gregorian, Orthodox Russian, and Basque), and indeed fine music on most days. 

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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.