Spring - Enjoy Popular Festivals and Traditions
Festivals around Local Products
In spring, apricots, cherries, strawberries, melons, garlic, asparagus and broccoli are the stars of the Provençal markets. During your stay in Provence, the tourist office will be able to provide you with information on the calendar of gourmet festivals that will help you learn about local production. Here are some events not to be missed if you are in the area!
- The Strawberry Festival in Carpentras: strawberry producers and AOC Ventoux wines meet for gourmet shopping.
- The Strawberry Festival in Salon-de-Provence: producers from Salon-de-Provence and the Salon region will let you enjoy their harvest around the Adam de Craponne Fountain, which assisted the irrigation of the Crau. On the programme: strawberry market, gourmet stands, musical entertainment, mascots. A highly anticipated gourmet and festive event!
- The Asparagus Festival in Mormoiron: the members of the Confrérie de l'Asperge organise this event which features a cooking competition, asparagus sales, an aperitif and meal on reservation, demonstrations of old trades, an exhibition of old cars, a garage sale and a tombola.
- The Cheese Festival in Banon: under the trilogy of wine, bread and cheese, this event always welcomes many visitors. The competition for the best Banon cheese (a small goat cheese enclosed in a chestnut leaf) allows the public to give their opinion on the quality of the products. Information: fetedufromage-banon.fr
- The Strawberry Festival in Velleron: refreshments, fast food, pony rides, garage sales, concerts and, of course, strawberry tasting! Information: velleron.fr
- The Spring Fair in Mallemort: various activities for young and old, demonstrations and tastings by our craftsmen and shopkeepers with different specialities: gastronomy, well-being, plants and flowers, old and new cars, environment, etc.
- The Local Produce Festival in Levens: crafts, local produce (vegetable plants, flowers, fruit and vegetables, honey, olive oil, cheeses, charcuterie, meat, wines, jams, home-made biscuits, sweets, etc.), animals, games for children, entertainment and, of course, the pissaladière competition!
- The Olive Tree and Olive Oil Festival in Pélissanne: located at the Moulin des Costes, this festive event offers a visit to the mill, a presentation on current topics in olive trees, a demonstration of soap-making from olive oil, an aperitif and a royal aïoli served under the plane trees, a tombola and musical entertainment. Information: moulindescostes.com
- The Cherry and Land Festival in La Roque-d'Anthéron: this is the big annual festive event in La Roque. Enjoy the parade in period costumes, cherry market, parade of Lipizzaner horses, sheep parade, entertainment and of course... cherry tastings.
- The Provence Wine Festival in Draguignan: for wine and culture lovers who wish to share moments of jubilation and festivity, and for all those who wish to know more about the wines of Provence.
The feria, "fair" in Castilian, is a traditional and popular festival. Originally, it was a bullfighting festival organised as part of commercial and agricultural fairs, with bullfights and the release of bulls. Today, the feria has become a festive event with bodegas, bars where people come to drink and party, and bandas, brass bands. Ferias can be found in the Iberian Peninsula and in France, both in the southwest and southeast of the country. There are many ferias in Provence, but the first ones take place in springtime.
The Easter Feria in Arles
This festival announces the launch of the bullfighting season in France. It takes place every year in April and attracts 500,000 visitors.
It is punctuated by events such as the abrivado, the arrival of the bulls guided by the herdsmen on horseback, numerous bullfighting games, evenings in the bodegas where people drink sangria and dance flamenco, bandas parades, bullfights and the party goes on until the end of the night!
The Nîmes Feria
This popular feria attracts thousands of tourists every year: you can attend bullfights, parties in the streets and bodegas every year during the Pentecostal weekend.
On Thursday, there is the pégoulade, the launch of the feria, with float parades, music and shows. Then there are bullfights, twice during the day, at 11am and 5pm, followed by evenings in the bodegas until the early hours. Shows and music concerts take place in the square of the Maison Carrée and in the fountain gardens.
The transhumance is an ancestral custom that takes place in spring and marks the beginning of summer. When the sun begins to burn the grass on the plains, the shepherds gather their flocks (billy goats, rams, goats and sheep) to take them to the mountain pastures. They spend the whole summer there and come back down in the autumn, at the first frost. This tradition, which dates back to the Middle Ages, disappeared but was revived in Provence in the 1970s, largely for ecological reasons. In the past, the transhumance was done on foot, and sometimes lasted more than ten days but, today, the animals are transported in vans. It is this departure of the herd that gives rise to festivals with entertainment and folk dancing.
Transhumance Festival in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence
The most famous and one of the most beautiful traditional festivals in Provence, this Transhumance Festival takes place around the 20th May. Enjoy Brocante fairs, cheese fairs, painting competitions and sales of posters and raffle tickets. At 10:30, the herd from the Crau plateau leaves and makes several rounds of the town. It brings together all the breeders of the region with their flocks, more than 4,000 ewes, lambs and rams, with the donkeys and shepherds in traditional costume.
For all information, contact the Saint-Rémy-de-Provence tourist office: 04 90 92 05 22
- Spring Festival in Saint-Martin-de-Crau: saintmartindecrau.fr
- The Salins and Crau Festival: fossurmer.fr
- Tranhumance Festival in Castellane: tourisme-alpes-haute-provence.com
- Tranhumance Festival in Névache: claree-tourisme.fr
- Tranhumance Festival in Saint-Etienne-de-Tinée: recreanice.fr
- Tranhumance Festival in Riez: transhumance.org
ExpoRose in Grasse
This incredible exhibition takes place every year in the perfume capital! In May, the city becomes a huge and magnificent garden as 8,500 bouquets of roses, 1,300 rosebushes and 25,000 cut roses embellish fountains and squares for the pleasure of all!
The event lasts three days and gives rise to numerous activities, rose exhibitions, tasting of rose products at the gourmet market and festive evenings. ExpoRose is, above all, a tribute to the world of agriculture and flower producers, and a source of wonder for visitors.
So if you happen to be in the region when this unique cultural event takes place, don't miss it! Since, as the blog Grasse Vintage says so well: "If you like flowers, you'll love it. If you like roses, you'll fall head over heels. If you don't think much of them, you'll go crazy."
This event, which will celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2022, is absolutely unmissable! To find out more about ExpoRose 2022, visit grasse.fr or contact the tourist office: 04 93 36 66 66.
We wish you a wonderful springtime in our beautiful Provence!