As the city of Aix-en-Provence was the historical capital of Provence, the public festivals and family celebrations remind the ancestral ways and customs of region. One can find the unique blend of tradition and modern creativity in all events and festivals of the city.
The city of Aix holds plenty of events throughout the year. The celebrations distribute many aspects of traditions and culture through music, dance, history and literature.
The Christmas Concert:
The Christmas Concert is usually organized by the Tambourin Academy at the beginning of December. The concert gets live with the tambourin-a long cylindrical drum, the galoubet -a three holed flute and other Provencal dance elements.
Festival of the Provence tambourin:
Month of April brings the festival of the Provence tambourin. It is organized by the Li Venturie association. Don’t miss an opportunity to watch and experience a great regional gathering of "tambourinaires"- the tambourin players. The town gets eventful with drumming contests, concerts, a tambourin forum and public serenades.
Roumavagi of Saint Victoire:
The last Sunday of April is the time for the Roumavagi of Saint Victoire, or the climb of the Saint Victoire Mountain. It is celebrated by a mass with Provencal songs at the priory chapel, blessing of the mountain and of Aix country and traditional music and dances.
The festival of Mistral:
The festival of Mistral is hosted by the Parc Jourdan in mid-September. Groups of musicians and dancers come together in the Parc Jourdan around the bust of Mistral. The festival is little old-fashioned ceremony. However it also highlights the modernity of Mistral’s work and the dynamism of a culture enriched over the centuries and passed on from generation to generation.
Festival d'Aix-en-Provence: (International Festival of Lyric art):
This event was founded in 1948 which has now become very famous in the world of Opera festivals. Held in late June and July every year, it takes place at several venues in the city. The main venues include the outdoor Theatre de l'Archeveche in the former garden of the archbishop's palace, the 18th century Theatre du Jeu de Paume and the Grand Theatre de Provence.
Musique dans la Rue:
The event of Musique dans la Rue is organized in June when the national 'Fete de la Musique’ is celebrated throughout the region. The festival week offers plenty of classical, jazz and popular concerts that are organized at the different street venues and courtyards in all over the city.
Festival of French Song:
This fantastic annual festival of French song offers a platform for a large number of upcoming singers. The festival has credited itself for the discovery of several singing stars. The shows of established French artists and upcoming talents are organized at numerous venues across the city.
Website:Festival of French Song
Following are some of the popular fairs organized in and around the Aix town:
Old Book Market:
On the first Sunday of every month, the old book market at the Place de l'Hotel de Ville offers a chance to browse the rare books. Literature lovers, readers can experience a rich literary heritage in this famous university town of Aix
New Oil and Truffle Fair:
This fair is organised in December of every year to make your Christmas more memorable. The seasonal fair in the Place Jeanne d'Arc offers quality virgin oil and Truffles. The flavour of truffle sold here is really second to none.
Handicraft fairs: (G.A.P.A Handicraft fairs)
The works of over 180 craftsmen from the Provence-Alps-French Riviera region are exhibited and put on sale. The craftsmen in the fair include potters, ceramic artists, painters, ironwork artists, sculptors, decorators and stylists.
Amateur painting and crafts festival:
Amateur painting and crafts festival organized in July and August offers an opportunity to converse with artists who take part in the festival. Visitors can also buy the paintings exhibited in the festival.
Santons fair is an annual event that offers the traditional clay nativity figurines of Aix-en-Provence. The Provence has become the centre for this craftsmanship where number of Santonniers can be found in and around the Aix town. These delicately carved and painted clay santon figurines appear in the churches throughout the Aix.