Auvergne Festivals – 12 wonderful festivals in Auvergne

Auvergne is famous for its Romanesque churches and architecture, as well as its delicious cuisines, cheeses, fine sparkling wines, and tasting. Apart from its interesting historical remains, Auvergne is also popular for its winter sports resorts and mountain spas that have attracted a large volume of tourists from all over the world.

There are many magnificent festivals to suit all tastes held throughout the Auvergne region, attended by many tourists. From short film festivals to art, history and music festivals, Auvergne definitely has a lot to offer throughout the year. Make your vacation in France a valuable and extraordinary experience by bringing your presence to the colorful and impressive festivals of Auvergne.

1. Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, from February 1 to 9, 2013

This festival is highly appreciated in the world of short films and 2013 is the 35th year that it has been held. It incorporates a marketplace where collectors can pick up rarities and find short films spanning all genre types.

This famous festival attracts more than 100,000 visitors each year. It’s a perfect place to watch short films but also enjoy delving into short films from previous years, at one of the thirty-five video terminals.

It’s a great networking arena for those involved in the industry, and it’s packed with booths, events and a great exhibition.

2. Limoges Carnival, Esplanade Champ-du-Juillet, March 3, 2013

Carnivals are wonderful and this one in particular has quite a reputation and attracts international performers so you can see Brazilian dancers and musicians and other fun and talented international acts. The Limoges Carnival has been held since 1989 on the first Sunday in March.

Organized along a 3 kilometer route, the procession is expected to attract some 75,000 people. It culminates in the drowning of the King of Carnival.

About 1,200 people take part in the entertainment, with an average of 10 top bands being invited from other areas of France and from other parts of Europe.

3. Videoforms, Clermont-Ferrand, from March 20 to 23, 2013

Celebrate video, international art video and many cultural and digital parties at the Videoformes Festival in Clermont Ferrand. This has been running in the spring every year since 1986. You can join debates, conferences and discuss projects and ideas. There are also contests for children. For those involved, it is a meeting of minds and a platform for the exchange of ideas.

The festivals run as stated above, however the exhibition runs from March 21 to April 7.

4. Festival Des Buveurs D’Eau, Vic Sur Cere, April 20-21, 2013

This is a water festival that aims to educate people about an eco-friendly lifestyle on the one hand, but while having a lot of fun on the other hand. It dates from 1896 although it was not active for long until 2011 when it was revived.

Families can enjoy water games, picnics, crafts, family workshops and entertainment.

5. Festival International Cinema et Costume Moulins – International Film and Costume Festival, June 2013, pending dates

A wonderful celebration of the importance of costumes in cinema, covering both period and contemporary films. Costumes are so central to the film as we quickly assess characters on screen and costumes are an essential means of communicating messages to us, the viewers.

Held in Allier, Moulins, this impressive festival takes place in June each year and screens around 20 films that were carefully selected for the beauty and exquisiteness of the costumes.

6. Les Europennes du Goucirct, Aurillac, early July (6, 7 and 8 2012)

This is perhaps one of the most popular and crowded festivals in this region of France. It is a 3-day cultural and gastronomic festival that is celebrated through a combination of live music, tastings, workshops, round tables, demonstrations and animation. This festival, which takes place in Aurillac (Cantal) in July each year, has around 100 exhibitors.

In 2012 beef was especially celebrated, and in 2011 pork. There are short courses during the festival and plenty of local produce such as cheese, wines, spices, baked goods, as well as local produce from other European participants.

7. Rendez-Vous Country Festival, Craponne-sur-Arzon, July 26-28, 2013

If you like country music, then this is the place for you this July. It features some of the best artists from Nashville and Austin, USA, and for fans of country music, they can enjoy a wide variety of music and artists, which will be played in a natural amphitheater. Watch out for new talent too!

8. Musique Sur un Plateau Festival, Brivadois, end of July (July 22-29, 2012)

This is the festival for art and music history lovers. Every July, the Brivadois region, which is next to the Brioude, is highlighted by a series of outstanding classical performances and concerts.

The festival promotes the area’s history, classical music and art, and the connection between them.

9. Festival du Monastier, La Vicarie, early August (August 3-11, 2012)

2013 is the 25th edition of this brass music festival. Enjoy an eclectic mix of music that surprisingly uses brass instruments! From jazz to baroque, from world music to traditional French songs.

10. Fecirctes Renaissance – Roi de l’Oiseau, 3rd weekend of September (September 12-16, 2012)

This is a colorful Renaissance festival that takes place in Le Puy-en-Velay (Haute-Loire) every September, on the third weekend. The event is notable for its impressive recreation of the archery competition that took place sometime in the 16th century.

In operation since 1986, this is a cultural event that combines fun, beauty and expression. Join the crowd as the city celebrates the festival through demonstrations, shows and concerts over five days.

11. Francophonies in Limousin, 11 Avenue du GĂ©neral-de-Gaulle, September 25-October 5, 2013

Take a look at the creme-de-la-creme of international French theater. The term Francophonie encompasses French-speaking cultures throughout the world.

Running since 1984, this festival celebrates its 30th birthday in 2013. The 2012 festival was attended by over 15,500 people, with a host of performances, discussions, meetings and exhibits.

12. Fecircte de la Chataigne (Chestnut Festival), Mourjou, October

Mourjou (Cantal) is a town with a huge population of 360 at last count, but every year in October it lets some 20,000 visitors enjoy the Chestnut Festival. Participate in eating and drinking copious amounts of chestnuts and cider. In fact, the norm is that there be 5,000 liters of cider and 2 tons of chestnuts.

This fair began in 1990 when some of the younger inhabitants decided that it was time to revive the chestnut, which had experienced a great decline since the modernization of agriculture.

Enjoy lots of fun, other local delicacies, storytelling, street music, technical demonstrations, games for the kids, wine tasting and much more.

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