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Festivals, events and fêtes in Normandy and Picardie – Dieppe, Le Havre, Caen and Cherbourg, France – Day-tripper.net the web magazine for visitors to France.
Making a note of festivals and events before you go away can add some value to your break. Here we list as many of those we have come across.
Please check with the local the tourist office for dates and other news.
– Events listings in Normandy (from the Normany Regional Tourist Board); www.normandy-tourism.fr
Private site. www.normandie-france.com
– Port of Portsmouth. Excellent events listings. www.portsmouth-port.co.uk
Caen's International Fair, September each year. Parc des Expositions. Each year Caen hosts a major International Fair, where around 250,000 visitors descend on the Parc des Expositions. www.caen-expo-congres.com
Events in Cherbourg; www.normandy-tourism.fr
Events in Dieppe; www.normandy-tourism.fr
Events in Le Havre; www.normandy-tourism.fr
Annual events in Normandy
February – The seaside town of Granville has an Annual Carnival in early February. www.ville-granville.fr
March – Black Pudding Fair. Over 50 years old, this Fair is held in Mortagne au Perche, Normandy. Over three days more than 100 exhibitors, traders, artisans and, of course, butchers come together and more than 5 kilometres of black pudding is sold! There are a number of different competitions at stake: the International Best Black Pudding award, the Best Black Pudding Eater award and finally, last but certainly not least, the Pig-squeal prize . . . that's if you're not squealing first!
March. The Salon habitat Deco Jardin et Loisirs Creatifs is an expo in Caen dedicated to the home and garden. This huge fair is be housed in the city's Parc des Expositions. www.caen-expo-congres.com
May – Etretat – Every year on Ascension Thursday. Blessing of the Sea. The Bénédiction de la Mer (Blessing of the Sea) in the village of Etretat commemorates a medieval legend of fishermen caught in a terrible storm, which ceased only when a monk fell on his knees and prayed for the winds to stop. www.etretat.net
May – Honfleur – Every year. Pélerinage des Marins. Every year, the beautiful port of Honfleur honours its maritime tradition with the Pélerinage des Marins (Sailor's Pilgrimage), one of the prettiest sights to be seen in northern France. www.ot-honfleur.fr
May – Cambremer in Calvados. Normandy Festival of AOC products – first weekend of May. The Appellation d'Origine Controllé Festival is a two day event which anyone with a taste of excellent food and top quality products will enjoy. There are traditional markets, tasting and sampling workshops, games for children and cooking demonstrations. www.pays-auge.fr (French)
June – Tour de Normandie, vintage cars tour. The parade passes through the departements of Orne, Calvados, Seine Maritime and Eure. Over 100 vintages cars participate in this event. www.tourde Normandie.com
August – Creances, Normandy. 2nd Saturday of every August. Carrot Festival. The small town of Creances in Normandy celebrates the apiaceae family – or the humble carrot. The town produces high-quality vegetables, and carrots in particular, and every year the local farming community congregates to celebrate its terroir and the local produce with performances, a market, food stalls and music (music themed events in France).
September – Livarot, Normandy. Every year. Livarot Cheese Fair. In the heart of Normandy's dairy region, Livarot hosts a festival devoted to cheese, including a competition to find whoever can swallow the most at one sitting.
End of September – Regional Nature Reserves Festival. Great country meeting in the 5 parks of the region: traditional games, a variety of shows, local crafts. Espace naturel Région al du Nord. Tel: 0033 320 60 69 34.
October – Honfleur, Normandy. Every year. Shrimp Festival. One of the few remaining old-style ports in Normandy, Honfleur celebrates its lifeline with a large shrimp festival. Of course, there'll be plenty of the little things available to eat, but who's going to peel them all? The organisers have cunningly arranged a shrimp-peeling competition, so that visitors don't have to get their hands dirty.
October – Vimoutiers, Normandy. Starts 3rd Saturday of every October. Apple Fair. Vimoutiers pays homage to the apple during this tasty weekend. Over 15,000 visitors flock to munch apples and glug cider. Meanwhile, the locals compete to win the Most Beautiful Apple and Most Delicious Cider competitions. Each year, a theatrical "scene" is made entirely from apples.
November – Lieurey, Normandy. Every year. Herring Fair. Lieurey is famous for its annual Herring Fair, an event celebrated on 11 November, St Martin's Day. This tradition started during the Hundred Years War and the siege of Orleans, when carts loaded with herrings from the port of Pont-Audemer were stopped at Lieurey because of a snowstorm. To avoid the loss of the fish, they were sold on the spot.
November – Le Havre, Normandy. Every year. Rural and Organic Food Festival. Local foods and specialities are on display to buy and taste at Le Havre's annual Salon Qualité de la Vie et Terroirs, held at the Docks Café.
First Sunday of every month – Apples are on order at the St. Opportune la Mare's market in Normandy. Held on the first Sunday of every month the market offers local produce of everything appley, and a little bit more. From cider to pies this really is indulgence at it's finest – even the fussiest of eaters will find some delight to sample.
Forthcoming events in Normandy. www.viafrance.com
July (1st Sunday of every July). There is the Red Fruit Fair in Noyon in the Picardy region. Since the 10th century this has been the centre of the red fruit trade in France. You'll find plenty of goodies to sample and take away including fresh fruit jams, syrups, coulis and compotes that will leave you licking your lips for more. A prize is awarded for the best display of fruit which ensures this day is a very colourful one.
May every year. Saint Quentin en Tourmont. Festival of the Jester. Each year at the Festival of the Jester the city of Saint-Quentin revives the popular festive traditions of the north of France. Herbert, the Saint-Quentinese giant, walks through the crowds and watches over the city . . .
A Fête is a festival, usually with eating, drinking, singing, dancing and often performances of some kind. A variations is a fête champêtre – a village festival, or the fête patronale, a celebration of the local Saint's day.
We have a page for Christmas shopping in Calais and the North of France. For local events we suggest you try the local tourist offices web sites.
For a summary of all the pages we have listing events, fetes and festivals in France.
Our extensive and comprehensive list of events, fetes and festivals in France concerning wine, food and other themes.