On the Agenda: What's happening in France this week

The Local France
The Local France - [email protected]
On the Agenda: What's happening in France this week
The owners of French tabacs are calling for protests this week. Photo by STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN / AFP

From threats of strikes and road blocks from angry rail signallers and angry tabac owners respectively, via ski-ing holidays and a certain festival of romance, here's what is happening in France this week.



School holidays - Schools in Zone C (including Paris and Toulouse) begin their two-week winter holiday. The February holidays are staggered with Zone A (southern and central France) holidays begin on February 17th while Zone B (northern France) start on February 24th.

The reason the holidays are staggered is to allow the ski industry to maximise holiday time and February is peak time for French ski resorts with French families, foreign tourists and school trips all heading to the mountains.

READ ALSO Will there be enough snow in French ski resorts this February?

Dijon carousel returns - Dijon's central square, the Place du Bareuzai, will see the reopening of the historic merry-go-round after it was destroyed in a fire last year.

Brittany spring tides - the Brittany département of Finistère has issued an alert for unusually high spring tides covering Monday and Tuesday. Anyone using the beach is advised to take extra care and be aware of tide times 



Hellfest tickets - if you're into metal you will doubtless already know about the Hellfest music festival in Clisson, Loire-Atlantique. Tickets go on sale on Tuesday, for the three-day event from June 27th to 30th.


La Saint-Valentine - Valentine's Day is not as a big a deal in France as it is in the USA, but you will likely see florists, jewellers and restaurants putting up some heart-shaped decorations (and if you're in Paris, expect lots of love-struck tourists).

READ ALSO How do the French celebrate Valentine's Day


Rolling roadblocks - the road between Nîmes and Alès in the Gard département will once again be blocked on Thursday by an 'opération escargot' (rolling roadblocks. This time it isn't angry farmers but angry tabac owners, the Chambre syndicale des buralistes has called for the action to denounce the difference in price in cigarettes between France and Spain (which leads to much formal and informal smuggling over the Spanish border).


Threatened rail strike - railway signallers are threatening strike action between February 16th and 18th - a peak travel weekend because of the school holidays. This would affect mainline SNCF trains, not city public transport - but talks are ongoing so it could still be called off. Find the latest in our strike section


Nice Carnival - 'carnival' isn't a big thing in most of France, with the exception of Nice (due to its historic links with Italy). The week-long celebration begins on Saturday and brings a party atmosphere to the town. Look out for the carnival floats featuring (usually unflattering) representations of French leaders and celebrities.


Menton lemon festival - Not to be outdone by its larger near-neighbour, the resort of Menton tempts more than 200,000 visitors every year for a spectacular 15-day celebration of all things citrus. It will also run from February 17th to March 3rd and features lemon sculptures, lemon carnival floats and artwork and lots of food.

Napoleonic battles - the town of Montereau in the greater Paris region is celebrating 210 years since Napoleon was victorious in a battle on the site with a two-day festival of re-enactments and historical events. More details here


Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also