Events in February in France in 2021 will continue to be patchy as the pandemic plays havoc with schedules. Events which were ready to go ahead have been postponed for another year. Here is a short list of events in France in February 2021. But keep your eyes and ears open for sudden changes.
PLEASE NOTE: I have researched as much as I can, and noted any changes. I have included some events which normally take place in February but which are cancelled so you can plan for 2022!
Some events have been postponed until later in the year. Again, that information is under the relevant event.
But at least we have St. Valentine’s Day.
To February 2nd, 2021: Les Soldes d’Hiver. The January Sales dates are set by law for the whole country…except for Meurthe-et-Moselle, Meuse, Moselle, Vosges, Landes and Pyrenéees-Atlantiques.
More about sales and discount shopping in France.
To February 5, 2021: Festival de Court Métrage. International Short Film Festival. Held in Clermont-Ferrand in the Auvergne region, the 43rd Short Film Festival has had 1,921 short films submitted internationally and 51 have been selected. It started in 1979 as a student film festival and is now the world’s biggest event dedicated to short Films. It’s held in 13 cinemas and is the chance to see the start of many careers.
I am ruthlessly promoting it as my son starred in a film, called Ralph First Love Hurts which was shown here in 2008. He’s no longer in the profession but as a proud mum (and householder in the Auvergne), what else could I do? It was filmed in Marseille and is full of delightful touches.
PLEASE NOTE: The Short Film Festival will take place online.
To March, 2021: Dunkirk Carnival. It’s madness in Nord Pas de Calais as the extraordinary 300 year old party sweeps the town. It’s a celebration as the sailors set off for voyages lasting months to the rich fishing grounds off Newfoundland and Iceland. It takes place at weekends only with a grand ball on Saturday night and music in the streets on Sunday.
PLEASE NOTE: The Dunkirk Carnival has been postponed to 2022. But there might be some activities, so check the Dunkirk Tourist Office website.
Start of February 2021: Bordeaux Show Jumping Contest is a weekend of top class equestrian events with international riders. Events include Driving and the Devoucoux Indoor Derby taking the riders over cross-country obstacles in an indoor ring. The main event is as always the World Show Jumping Cup but the Jumping l’Expo horse-themed general show involving around 100 exhibitors has its followers.
PLEASE NOTE: The Bordeaux Show Jumping Contest has been postponed to Feb 3-6, 2022.
To Mar 21st, 2021: Limoux Carnival in the Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon has been taking place for over 700 years. Its origins are the stuff of folklore: after a group of local millers finishing paying their taxes to the local monks, they celebrated through the city street, handing out flour and treats to the locals. Well everything has to start somewhere, so why not?
PLEASE NOTE: The 2021 Limoux Carnival has been postponed to 2022.
Mid Feb, 2021: Face Cachée. The Hidden Side of Paris is a different way to see the capital. Over 120 sites that are different or private locations normally closed to the public are open. There’s a third option: shows in odd places like the belfry at Gare de Lyon.
You book online and don’t know the location until you get the ticket. Tours last from one to three hours.
PLEASE NOTE: Postponed to February 2022.
Feb 14th, 2021: St Valentine’s Day. This is as well celebrated in France as elsewhere; after all the country is known as a romantic one. But France goes a little further with some cities organising special events.
Feast in Reims takes place as a dinner on February 13th and lunch on February 14th. So far it is taking place, but watch out for possible cancelation.
Strasbourg goes further and from early February to February 14, 2021 the city celebrates Strasbourg Mon Amour. It showcases how pretty and romantic the city can be with sparkling lights in the streets of half-timbered houses. Events run from pop-up bars to concerts; photo exhibitions to odd tours of the museums. Events take place at the Café des amours on Place Kléber and around town in different venues.
PLEASE NOTE: Strasbourg Mon Amour has been postponed to 2022.
Roll on the day when we can meet each other, eat chocolate and drink bubbly! In the meantime, plan a visit to a Reims Champagne house.
Feb 13-28, 2021: Nice Carnaval! Roi des Animaux. The Year of the Animal takes over the streets and squares of Nice, the Queen of the Riviera. The Carnival procession and the Battle of the Flowers have to be seen to be believed. Place Masséna is at the heart of the celebrations as extraordinary floats parade past the stands while street art, bands and performances entertain.
PLEASE NOTE: Nice Carnaval! has been postponed to 2022.
Feb 13-28, 2021: Menton Lemon Festival. The Menton Lemon Festival began in 1934. Over 300 professionals using 145 tonnes of citrus fruits (yes, that’s right) create extraordinary citrus-themed floats. Processions take place around the Promenade du Soleil while the central Biovès Gardens are transformed with temporary sculptures in those bright orange and yellow colours, some as high as 10 metres.
PLEASE NOTE: The Menton Lemon Festival has been postponed to 2022.
Feb, 2021: Porte de Versailles International Agricultural Show. Since 1964 when it held the first event, the International Agricultural Show has become the biggest agricultural event in France.
For 9 days, over 1,000 exhibitors from around the world show off 3,000 animals, fruit, vegetables, agricultural items and more. There are four areas: livestock farming and its related industries; gastronomic products from France and elsewhere; cultivation and the plant industries; and agricultural services and trades.
PLEASE NOTE: It appears that this will go ahead, but please check the website for updates.
Feb 21, 2021: Bormes-les-Mimosas Flower Procession. The traditional floral procession in the medieval village of Bormes-les-Mimosas with its dozen floats on the last weekend in February is a sight to see. 12 tonnes of branches and 80,000 flowers are woven into the decorations on the floats. A brass band helps it all fly along. There’s a small charge and the festivities go on well into the early hours, ending with the flower battle.
PLEASE NOTE: The Bormes les Mimosas Flower Festival had been postponed to 2022.
Feb 19-21, 2021: Mulhouse Carnaval. Mulhouse makes the streets dance with decorated floats, and bands of pipes and drums. Events include a ball in a marquee, an international cavalcade and of course the election of the carnival king and queen.
PLEASE NOTE: The Mulhouse Carnaval has been postponed to April/May 2021 when it will take a different form.
Feb 21, 2021: Chinese New Year. The parades that take place, particularly in Paris, home to Europe’s largest Asian community, are usually spectacular. But this year there’s doubt about what will happen so keep looking at your local tourist office in France.
The 2021 New Year is the Year of the Ox. It will need all the attributes those born in the Year of the Ox to get through the present pandemic: strong, determined and conservative.
End of Feb, 2021: Annecy Venetian Carnival. This spectacular carnival sees Annecy mimic the city of Venice. All around lake Annecy and in the town you’ll see masked figures, many in the costumes of the Italian Commedia dell’arte parading through the streets. It’s been going since 1996.
PLEASE NOTE: The Annecy Venetian Carnaval has been postponed to April 16-18, 2021.
More Events in France in 2021
More about great Food Festivals in France.
Events in France in 2020
These are not yet updated, but to get an idea of what might be on as many of these are annual events, here’s last year.