AixEnProvence, France » Entertainment » Festivals

As the city of Aix-en-Provence was the historical capital of Provence, the public festivals and family celebrations remind the traditional ways and customs of the region. One can find the unique blend of traditional and modern culture in events and festivals.

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.

Festival of the Provence tambourine

The month of April brings the festival of the Provence tambourine. It is organised by the Li Venturie association. Don't miss an opportunity to watch and experience a regional gathering of "tambourinaires"- the tambourine players. The town gets eventful with drumming contests, concerts, a tambourine forum, and public serenades.

Roumavagi of Saint Victoire

The last Sunday of April is the time for the Roumavagi of Saint Victoire (Climb of the Saint Victoire Mountain). A mass celebrates it with Provencal songs at the priory chapel, the blessing of the mountain and traditional music and dances.

Musique dans la Rue

Musique dans la Rue is organised 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 organised at the different venues and courtyards all over the city.

Festival d'Aix-en-Provence: (International Festival of Lyric art)

This event was founded in 1948 and has become very famous in the world of Operas. It is held in late June and July every year at Place des Martyrs de la Resistance.

Festival of Mistral

The Parc Jourdan hosts the festival of Mistral in mid-September. Groups of musicians and dancers come together in the Parc Jourdan around the bust of Mistral. The festival is a bit old-fashioned ceremony. However, it 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 of French Song

This fantastic annual festival of French songs offers a platform for a large number of upcoming singers. The festival is celebrated in autumn and has credited itself with the discovery of several singing stars. The shows of established French artists and upcoming talents are organised at numerous venues across the city.

The Christmas Concert

The Tambourin Academy usually organises the Christmas Concert at the beginning of December. The concert gets live with the tambourine-a long cylindrical drum, the galoubet - a three-holed flute, and other Provencal dance performances.

Following are some of the popular fairs organised 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 rare books. Literature lovers and readers can experience a rich literary heritage.

Amateur Painting and Crafts Festival

Amateur Painting and Crafts Festival organised in July and August offers an opportunity to converse with artists participating in the festival. Visitors can also buy the paintings exhibited at the festival.

New Oil and Truffle Fair

This annual fair is organised in December to make your Christmas more memorable. The seasonal fair in the Place Jeanne d'Arc offers quality virgin oil and Truffles. The truffles sold here are second to none.

Handicraft fairs: (GAPA Handicraft fairs)

The works of over 180 artists from the Provence-Alps-French Riviera region are exhibited and put on sale. The artists in the fair include potters, ceramic artists, painters, ironwork artists, sculptors, decorators etc.

Santons Fair

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 several Santonniers can be found. These delicately carved and painted clay santon figurines appear in the churches throughout the Aix.