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What’s on in France: 11 great events in September 2018

September in France means back to work or school for most people - but there are plenty of events taking place across the country to help you kick start France's unofficial New Year - 'la rentree' - with some fun. Here's our pick of 11 you won't want to miss out on.

What's on in France: 11 great events in September 2018
Photos: AFP
Wine walks, Loire Valley, September 1st – 2nd
 
For wine lovers out there, this is the perfect way to celebrate your favourite drink. 
 
The event offers 15 walks in the heart of France's Loire Valley which give you the chance to discover vineyards accompanied by the winemakers themselves. And, of course, the walk will be punctuated with a little bit of wine tasting along the way. 
 
 
Festival of Song (Rencontres Polyphoniques), Corsica, September 11th – 15th 
 
Since 1989, this festival in the Corsican town of Calvi has brought together singers from all over the world.
 
At the end of the summer, concerts are organized across the town, including in the stunning Calvi Cathedral and you'll find the programme packed full of singers from countries as varied as Bulgaria, Georgia, Tibeta and Morocco. 
 
Jazz à la Villette, Paris, August 30th – September 9th
 
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 for children.
 
This year the line-up features acts from a host of big names including US star Janelle Monáe, Parisian duo Tshegue and Dhafer Youssef, as well as many exciting new performers.
 
If you want a taste of the kind of performances you can expect, check the video from last year's event below. 
 
 
Braderie de Lille, September 1st – 2nd
 
Bargain hunters should head to Lille for this event, which is the largest flea market in Europe, attracting more than two million visitors each year.
 
You can haggle for items ranging from furniture to vintage clothing as well as more specialist items, with the local streets organisedseparated by theme.
 
 
Photo: AFP
 
European Fair, Strasbourg, September 7th – 17th
 
With over 900 exhibitors taking part, this annual cultural fair is well worth a visit. This year, the focus is on the iconic Route 66 in the US.
 
There will be a children's space, a farm, live musical acts and other activities that will appeal to the whole family. 
 
Paris Design Week, September 6th – 15th 
 
Taking place across the entire city, Paris Design Week showcases the very best in contemporary and classic design. It's free of charge so you can wander into one of 180 venues, including exhibition spaces, museums, and even restaurants.
 
The event has developed a reputation for celebrating new designers and spotting trends before they hit the shops – so it's a great place to go if you want interior design ideas that will put you ahead of the curve.
 
Photo: AFP

 
Marathon du Medoc, Bordeaux, September 8th
 
Billed as the 'longest marathon in the world', it's also the booziest and one of the most enjoyable, thanks to a route that takes participants through vineyards, chateaux, and food stops to sample the region's delicacies. And yes, that includes plenty of wine, as well as oysters, steak and more local treats.
 
Most runners wear fancy dress – even the competitive ones – and this year the theme is the funfair.
 
Photo: AFP
 
Les Journées du Patrimoine, September 15th-16th
 
Across the country, thousands of cultural heritage sites will open their doors to the public as part of the programme. There are also events ranging from guided walks to concerts, exhibitions, and workshops.
 
This year the theme is the 'art of sharing' and it's a great opportunity to see behind the usually-closed doors of both public and private properties.
 
People queue to get into the Ministry of Justice in Place Vendome, Paris. Photo: AFP
 
Fete de la Gastronomie, September 21st – 23rd
 
Autumn is the best time for food and wine across France, and this nationwide festival celebrates the very best of French fare. France's gastronomy is classed by UNESCO as an 'intangible cultural heritage of humanity' and the festival programme includes workshops, demonstrations, and even special offers in many restaurants.
 
Whether you want to go on a truffle hunt or enjoy the wine harvest, head to a street market or gourmet restaurant, there's sure to be something going on near you.
 
Photo: AFP
 
Technoparade, Paris, September 22nd
 
For 20 years this one-day festival has promoted electro and techno music in the French capital. Thousands of people are expected to turn out to the 5km street party with a procession of floats equipped with sound systems blasting out music, and both renowned and up-and-coming DJs.
 
And this year – its 20th anniversary – is expected to be bigger and better than ever. 
 
Photo: Rog01/Flickr
 
British Film Festival, Dinard, September 26th – 30th
 
This five-day festival features premieres, short films, and competitions celebrating the best of British in the world of cinema.
 
Each year some of the biggest names in French and British cinema descend on the Breton seaside town, and a jury of leading figures shortlists six films, with the best one awarded the Golden Hitchcock.
 
The president of this year's event is Italian actress and model, Monica Bellucci. 

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WHATS ON

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. 

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