March is a glorious month for events in France, particularly with Easter weekend at the end of the month. The weather is changing with Spring arriving and the gardens and parks are showing off their new colours. A great month to visit.

To Mar 3, 2024: Nice Carnaval, PACA. The theme for 2024 is the King of Pop Culture which is refreshingly different from other carnivals which take the Paris Olympics as their inspiration. Plenty to do and see in the Queen of the south of France. Taking over the streets and square, 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.

Nice Carnival showing huge figures in main swuare at night, all lit up
Nice Carnival

To Mar 3, 2024: 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 and parade around the Promenade du Soleil while dancers and folk groups entertain and throw tons of confetti. The central Biovès Gardens are transformed with temporary sculptures in those bright orange and yellow coloured fruits, some as high as 10 metres. This year the theme is the Olympics.

Menton Lemon Festival poster France events 2024 with bright coloured drawn lemons and Olympic theme
Menton Lemon Festival poster

To Mar 3, 2024: Porte de Versailles International Agricultural Show, the biggest agricultural event in France has been held since 1964. For anyone interested in agriculture it’s a must with over international 1,000 exhibitors from around the world. They show off 3,000 animals, a cornucopia of fruit and vegetables, as well as agricultural items and more. Four areas take in livestock farming and its related industries; gastronomic products from France and elsewhere; cultivation and the plant industries; and agricultural services and trades. It makes sense: France is one of Europe’s biggest agricultural nations.

Small dark bay Landais pony agricultural show
Landais pony © Wikimedia Commons/Thomon

To Mar 24, 2024: Limoux Carnival in the Aude, Languedoc-Roussillon. For over 700 years it’s been celebrating a group of local millers who, having paid off their taxes to the local monks, roamed through the streets, handing out flour and treats to the locals. And they’ve been doing it ever since. This fabulous costumed event takes place every weekend to the end of March.

Here’s the Programme

Limoux Carnival showing man in red costume with white ruff and red top hat withface painted in white with marks like a clows. He's surrounded by like-costumed people
Limoux Carnival CC-BY-SA 2.0/tagon

To Apr 5, 2024: Banlieues Bleues Festival in Saint Denis, Paris. New jazz musicians from around the world come together in this popular festival. It includes takes place in different venues including Dynamo, the main venue open all year round.

Banlieues Bleues festival with Solstg on stage, small group on blue/licallit stage with audience in front. Photo from back of club
Banlieus Bleues Festival © Solstag/CC-BY-SA 2.0

To Apr 7, 2024: Dunkirk Carnival in Nord-Pas de Calais is one of those events when the French appear to go totally bonkers. Go there to appreciate the extraordinary 300-year old party as it sweeps through the town. The carnival celebrates the boats setting off for voyages to the rich fishing grounds off Newfoundland and Iceland – voyages which lasted for months.

Shrove Tuesday is the highlight with musicians dressed as fishermen leading the parades, complete with ‘giants’ and 450 kilos of wrapped, smoked herrings hurled from the balcony of the City Hall. As I wrote, bonkers.

The carnival is mainly at weekends, with some events on a weekday. Check the website.

Dunkirk Carnival. Two men almost kissing with faces made up white with colours and crowd behind. Everyone dressed in wierd costumes
Dunkirk Carnival © Ville de Dunquerque

Events starting in March 2024

Mar 2-3, 2024: The Violet Festival has taken place in Tourrettes-sur-Loup since 1952. Begun in 1880 when the village in the Alpes-Maritimes in southern France became famous for its violet growing farms, the festival celebrates the end of the violet season with serenades, dances, a floral procession and finally a flower battle for everyone.

Delicate violet violets growing
Violet Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Mar 2-3, 2024: Sarlat Fest’Oie (Goose Festival) is one of the best known March events. It takes place in the picturesque town of Sarlat-la-Canéda in Périgord, an area famous for its geese. There’s an all-you-can-eat banquet, naturally, and the chance to savour street food like goose soup from one of the stalls. Buy products in the bustling market and follow flocks of geese as they are led through the city.

Geese herd in middle of street in Sarlat at the Sarlat Goose Festival
Sarlat Goose Festival Public domain via Wikimedia Commons

Mar 9-25, 2024: Les Printemps des Poètes. Poetry festivals, large and small take place all over France, from a reading in a café to a fully fledged festival. And the one in Nice on the Côte d’Azur is one of the best known. This very French festival is the most esoteric of events in France in March 2023. Not for the faint-hearted!

printemps des poetes poster for La Grace, 2024 events France March
Printemps des Poètes 2024

Mar 13-Apr 7, 2024: Monte-Carlo Spring Arts Festival is a classical music festival that runs from Thursdays to Sundays over the month. Founded originally by Prince Rainier III and Princess Grace in 1970, it features some of the great European orchestras and takes place in the Opéra de Monte-Carlo, Hôtel Hermitage and One Monte-Carlo.

View from above and sideways of theatre stage with performers on it and audience out front at Monte Carlo festival
Monte Carlo Festival

Mar 14-16, 2024: The Rallye Le Touquet Pas-de-Calais starts the 2023 French Rally Championship. Over 150 drivers wizz through the countryside and along the coast.

Le Touquet Rally © Felouch Kotek/CC-BY-SA 3.0

Mar 14-17, 2024: Orchid Festival at the Abbey of Vaucelles near Cambrai in the Nord department. Thirty participants fill the vaulted rooms of the 12th century building. It’s a beautiful abbey with stunning gardens and worth a visit at any time of the year.

Abbaye de Vaucelles from above showing large separate gardens, woods and tracks
Abbaye de Vaucelles © Abbaye de Vaucelles

Mar 16, 2024La Trace du Fromage on the Aubrac plateau in Aveyron gives you the chance to walk, cross-country ski or snowshoe over the extraordinary Aubrac landscape on the search for cheese, mulled wine, gentian, fouace and aligot. Celebrating Lagouile AOP, it’s organised by the Cooperative Jeune Montagne. Go from from buron to buron – small stone shelters where shepherds live with their herds during the summer and make cheese by hand.

Aubrac Plateau in summer showing high desolate landscape with a stone shelter buron to one side
Aubrac Plateau © Benjamin Claverie/CC-BY-SA2.0

Mar 20-25, 2024: Drawing Week, Paris. Different venues celebrate the art of drawing. Try the Drawing Now Art Fair at the Carreau du Temple (Mar 21-24), and the Salon du Dessin (Mar 20-25) at the Palais Brogninart.

palais Brongniart Paris
Palais Brongniart Photo: David Monniaux CC BY-SA 3.0 DEED

Mar 22-25, 2024: 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 offering local product tastings, a livestock exhibition and contests as well as the chance to buy all those tempting goodies.

Coulommiers cheese festival events France March 2024 withlady in black at cheese stall handing piece of cheese to taste with lots of cheeses in boxes on bench in front
Coloummiers Cheese Festival

Mar 22-Sep 22, 2024: Impressionist Destination in Normandy celebrates the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Impressionists. Around 150 to 200 events are organised in the main cities celebrating the art: Rouen, Caen, Le Havre, Cherbourg, Giverny, Honfleur, Port-en-Bessin-Huppain, Fécamp and Saint Lô and in other smaller towns. The connection between contemporary art and Impressionism is also a theme in the concerts, major Impressionist exhibitions, installations, dance and more, including the exhibition Whistler, the Butterfly Effect at the Musée des Beaux-Arts (Fine Arts Museum) in Rouen (May 24-Jul 24), and a Gwen John exhibition at the Château-Musée in Dieppe from end June to end September.

Mar 29-Apr 1, 2024: Easter Feria in Arles. This is the first event in the French bullfighting season. There are corridas in the arenas, but there’s much more: bull running (course camarquaise), street events, musical entertainment and abrivados where the bulls are led from the pastures to the arena and back by costumed guardians on horseback.  and more. But if you’re not a fan, keep away.

Bullfighter's costume showing white hat and highly embroidered top of costume
Picador’s costume Constantin Philippoff

Mar 29-Apr 1, 2024: L’Isle-sur-la-Sorgue Antiques Fair is one of the great antiques events of Europe and of all the events in France in April, it’s one of my favourites. 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.

L'isle sur la Sorgues antiques market with photo taken from behind table piled high with small antiques looking out onto square with white pavilion tents with more stalls
L’isle sur la sorgue market ©Thomas O’Brien

Mar 30, 2024: 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
Visit one of the great Sacred Sites of France
Conques in the Lot Valley is one of the abbeys you should see

Cloisters of Abbey of Sainte Foy in conques looking across green lawn at arcaded cloisters on left adjoined to the side of the Abbey
Cloisters of Abbey Sainte Foy in Conques © Conques Tourist Office

Mar 30-Apr 1: The International Kite and Wind Festival takes place in the seaside resort of  Châtelaillon-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.

Chatelaillon Kite festival shows huge kite flying high in sky with others below
Chatelaillon Kite Festival © Salix/CC BY-SA 3.0

Events in France

Events in France in January 2024
Events in France in February 2024

I am updating the events in France in 2024 but have left 2023 as many of France’s major events occur each year, usually at the same time of the month.

Events in France in April 2023
Events in France in May 2023
Events in France in June 2023
Events in France in July 2023
Events in France in August 2023
Events in France in September 2023
Events in France in October 2023
Events in France in November 2023
Events in France in December 2023

More about great Food Festivals in France
Public holidays in France

Here’s a quick guide to France, its regions and departments to help you find where the events are taking place.

Regions of France
French Departments

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