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BellaOnline's French Culture Editor

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Festivals & Celebrations

Float around an airy summer jazz festival, stay up all night for the Nuit Blanche, watch the whimsical performances of Arts dans la Rue, or participate in the Journées du Patrimoine...all free!

A Coastal Franco-American Wedding star
The azure waters of Bretagne provided a fantastical backdrop for the poetic outdoor ceremony where we exchanged vows. A melange of American and French traditions our wedding was unforgettable for both parties.

Arts de la Rue - France's Street Arts Festivals star
Arts de la Rue is one of my favorite festivals of the year where acrobats, dancers, dreamers, musicians and theatre troupes join forces for the space of a weekend. These free street arts festivals demonstrate existence of the surreal in the hearts of the French. Indulge yourself.

Chorus, A Festival for the Suits star
A mysterious tent crops up on the plaza below the Arch de la Defence on the dawn of spring. Part circus, part saloon, it serves as home to the Chorus Festival, a two-week series of concerts. I arrived with the afternoon draw of suits and stayed around to see B.B. Brunes close the night.

Christmas in Paris star
December is a wander through the chalets of a Marche de Noel and a peek into the department store windows on Boulevard Haussmann. Here are the ways we get in the Christmas spirit.

Fete de Ganesh star
To honor the elephant-headed god Ganesh, devotees chant and dance in the streets carrying flags, wearing totems of fruit and feather, and balancing candles atop heads. Shopkeepers prepare alters and swathe the parade route in garlands of flowers.

Jardins Jardin – How to Cultivate an Urban Garden star
How to create an urban garden answered by Paris’ landscape architects and exterior designers in a dozen ephemeral vignettes that cropped up for the Jardins Jardin festival in the Tuileries.

Jazz in Juan - Evolution in Jazz Paradise star
To the purist’s discontent the definition of jazz has expanded to include nearly every other genre of music and the festival in Juan les Pins is no exception. It is a place the artists call paradise, where the crowd watches through parasol pine trees and the ocean sets the tempo.

Les Journees du Patrimoine star
During the space of a weekend in September the public is invited to share in France’s patrimonial richness for les Journees du Patrimoine. Given an open sesame to access secret gardens and hotels particuliers in Paris, I opted to visit the Palais d l’Elysee and Palais Royal.

Midem – Music Industry Gathers in Cannes star
The music industry gathers in Cannes each January for three days of networking and concerts called Midem. Here are some highlights from the invitation only music festival where international bands assemble to present newly released albums.

Spring Brings Roland Garros - The French Open star
Even the cheapest tickets to Roland Garros afford an intimate view. The “Allez!” of encouragement abounds like birdsong as Lacoste-suited officials and thin-armed ball boys scuttle to set the stage on the powdery red clay court. Here are a few tips for passing a Spring day at the French open.

The Bataille des Fleurs Parade star
Marching bands serenade showers of carnations and roses at Antibes’ Battle of Flowers.

The Nice Carnival, Like Mardi Gras but Better star
The Nice carnival feels like a cleaned-up version of New Orleans Mardi gras where costumed children throw confetti and the parade route traces the Mediterranean sea.

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