Events in France in April 2022 are many and varied. But do check before planning or booking around the April events. Some may change if Covid 19 continues to be a concern. So keep your eyes and ears open for changes.
April 1, 2014: Known as le poisson d’avril in France, on April Fool’s Day you’ll see fish-shaped chocolates and pastries filling up the shops. There’s a tradition of sticking paper cut-out fish onto people’s backs without them knowing. The origins of le poisson d’avril are veiled in obscurity, like so many traditions, but it’s believed to go back to a tradition of giving fish as a gift to celebrate the beginning of Easter and the end of Lent.
Apr-Oct, 2021: Chartres en lumières (Chartres Illuminated) sees this wonderful city beautifully lit up for its annual festival of light. It’s nightly so there’s no excuse to miss it.
To Apr 3, 2022: Monte-Carlo Spring Arts Festival is well worth attending. The classical music festival runs from Thursdays to Sundays over the month. Founded originally by Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace, it features some of the great European orchestras and takes place in different venues in Monte-Carlo.
To Apr 3, 2022: Les Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art (European Days of Crafts) throws open galleries, studios and workshops across Europe, with exhibitions, installations, open houses, performances and more. Meet the artists and craftspeople, learn something of their craft and get inspired.
Apr 1-3, 2022: Every year, Lyon puts on Les Quais du Polar. 100 or so authors and filmmakers of crime fiction take part in debates, meetings, readings, signing sessions, concerts, plays and crime film screenings that are chosen by the authors. International names have included Tonino Benacquista, Harlan Coben, Jo Nesbo and James Ellroy. The free events take place at city hall, the Opera and Palais de la Bourse. It’s one of the biggest crime fiction events in France with over 60,000 visitors a year.
Apr 6-Jul 31, 2022: Saint-Etienne Design Festival. Every two years since 1998, the city of Saint-Étienne has hosted the International Design Biennial. Cancelled in 2021, it’s a welcome boost to this interesting industrial city. It’s organised by the Saint-Étienne Regional School of Fine Arts and produced and managed by the Cité du Design centre. It promotes contemporary design through seven exhibitions and events. This year’s theme is ‘Bifurcation’. Saint-Etienne in the Auvergne is the only French city designated as a UNESCO-listed Creative City of Design, joining Berlin, Bilbao, Montreal and Beijing.
Exhibitions throughout the city, workshops, conferences and meetings with design professionals make up an exciting programme.
Apr 8-11, 2022: International Cheese and Wine Fair at Coulommiers in the south of France. Exhibitors and craftspeople set up their stalls in the forecourt of the sugar factory. They offer local product tastings, a livestock exhibition and contests as well as the chance to buy all those tempting goodies. Join in the ‘How much the cow Marguerite weighs’ competition.
Apr 9-18, 2022: Festival de l’oiseau et de la nature (Bird and Nature Festival). The 9-day festival takes place in the beautiful Somme Bay. It’s a great event for families, offering trips on foot, on horseback, in a carriage, a kayak or boat introducing you to the environment, the birds, seals in the Bay and more. Plus animal documentaries to watch on screen, exhibitions and more.
Apr 15-18, 2022: L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue – Antiques Art & You is one of the great antiques events of Europe. It takes place in the pretty south of France town of L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue, one of the antique capitals of France. It’s the place for a bargain or a masterpiece depending on your budget. Whatever your tastes, it’s a great occasion.
Apr 16, 2022: Paris-Roubaix cycle race challenges top riders during the race called the ‘Hell of the North’. It follows a circuitous route over 172 kms. In fact it’s three races so if you’re in the area, check first to make sure you don’t get caught up in it! There’s also a race for amateurs on Saturday Apr 9 if you feel like taking up the challenge.
Apr 16-18, 2022: The International Kite and Wind Festival takes place in the seaside resort of Chatelaillon-sur-Plage in Charentes-Maritimes. It’s a spectacular sight as over 800 kites fill the sky. To add to the excitement there are kite-surfing demonstrations, kite creation workshops for children and more.
Apr 17, 2022: Easter Sunday. Despite being such a catholic country, France only observes Easter Sunday and Monday as public holidays, not Good Friday. But with healthy commercial and gourmet interests at heart, the pâtisseries and shops fill with Easter bunnies and all kinds of goodies weeks before and after Easter.
See how the French celebrate Easter.
Apr 19-24, 2022: Le Printemps Bourges. Both famous and young up-and-coming musicians come to Bourges for a variety of rock, rap, electro and more concerts. More events include films and talks and there are free concerts on outdoor stages and in 20 or so bars. A fringe festival takes over the streets.
Apr 21-24, 2022: The Paris Book Fair is an important European event taking place in the temporary Grand Palais in the centre of Paris. Porte de Versailles. Over 1000 publishers and 2,000 authors meet the public at around 500 stands.
Apr 23-May 1, 2022: The famous north France International Kite Festival takes over the sandy beaches of Berck-sur-Mer as thousands of extraordinary looking kites take to the skies. It’s quite a site and will get you itching to make or buy a very different kits.
Apr 24-Nov 6, 2022: International Garden Festival at Chaumont-sur-Loire Château in the Loire Valley is celebrating its 30th anniversary. It’s a fabulous, huge Festival, the Chelsea Flower Show of France. The Château and grounds are lovely and the festival of a series of gardens from international designers always delivers some surprises. This year the theme is the Ideal Garden where designers are invited to create a garden which aims to satisfy the following criteria. It must be beautiful, good, organic, healing, comforting, innovative, and water and energy efficient all at the same time. In addition it must glorify harmony and taste, and generate wellbeing and happiness. The French really do put the bar high don’t they?