Hundreds of wonderful festivals take place in France for Christmas – from quirky and authentic events like the Licques Turkey Parade to the huge Festival of Lights in Lyon attended by huge crowds.
Going to a Christmas market is one of the great festivities of the season – so, where ever you are in France at Christmas – check with the local tourist office to find out what’s on.
Here are a few of our favourite Christmas festivals in France:
Festival of Lights in Lyon
Since 1852 people in Lyons have placed tiny candles in their windows and on their balconies in December to herald in the Christmas season. Thousands of little candles lights up the streets of this beautiful town making it look enchanting but it doesn’t end there. Over the years the event has grown in popularity and has become an exceptional spectacle. Famous designers create magnificent sound and light shows. All over the city, buildings, rivers and parks become part of the show and for four days Lyons sparkles attracting millions of visitors to explore its beautiful lit up splendour. Festival of lights Lyon 2018: 6-9 December 2018
Licques Turkey Festival – Fete de la Dinde
One of the most unusual, authentic and fun festivals of Christmas takes place in Licques, about 40 minutes drive from Calais. The Fete de la Dinde involves hundreds of turkeys parading through the streets of the town in an extraordinary celebration to honour this ungainly Christmas bird. Accompanied by local dignitaries and brotherhoods decked out in all their splendour – it’s a colourful and memorable day out.
It’s also the place to go for a gourmet Christmas market, held in a huge marquee full of local producers and those from other regions where you’ll be able to taste and buy great wines, champagne, cheese, meats, cakes, biscuits, sweets – pretty much all the French produce you’ll need to make it a proper gastronomic Christmas!
Licques Fete de la Dinde 2018: The gourmet market is held on 15 and 16 December 2018. The Turkey Parade is on at 11.00 a.m.
Bresse Poultry contest in Louhans
The south of the Burgundy is home to Bresse poultry, known worldwide for their quality and unique taste. Bresse chicken is the only poultry to be awarded A.O.C (Controlled designation of origin) status.
During the last week of the run-up to Christmas, the Glorieuses de Bresse festival pays tribute to livestock breeders in the region. Celebrating their unique know-how, and the only poultry in the world with an official protected designation of origin. More than 1,000 birds including Bresse capons and fattened chickens are on show.
The programme include a poultry market, competitions, exhibitions, events and tasting sessions.
Bresse poultry contest 2018: 14 to 18 December