Enjoy our top 10 December events

Ballets Talarium et Lux

There is still plenty of time to shop so you should enjoy our pick of the non-shopping events across France

DECEMBER will soon be with us so here is our pick of the 10 best things to do across France all month...

You still have plenty of time to shop so that’s no reason to miss out on some must-see events although, sadly, the Fête des Lumières in Lyon has had to be cancelled due to the security situation.

You can find more in our December issue, which is on sale now in supermarkets and newsagents in France, or download a pdf copy now here for €3.80.

Today and tomorrow also sees the annual grande collecte for the banques alimentaires food banks and 20,000 volunteers will be at markets and supermarkets collecting food and other goods for the less well-off. Perhaps ask them if there is anything they especially need before you shop...

Food and supermarket giants also do their bit, having increased their donations by 11% last year and 10% already in the first nine months of 2015.

1 Christmas markets are obviously to the fore but Turckheim in Haut-Rhin does it a bit differently with a giant advent calendar in front of the Hôtel de Ville with a door opened each evening at 17.00.
www.turckheim.com

2 Finding new music stars for the French public is one of the fortes of the Rencontres Transmusicales in Rennes, Ille-et-Vilaine – which runs December 2-6 – and was one of the first to promote the likes of Lennie Kravitz, Nirvana, Björk and Daft Punk.
www.lestrans.com

3 Madame Pompadour’s parties were legendary – and not known to include Ferrero Rocher – but the Dance, Kiss Who You Wish, Parties and Pleasures exhibition at Louvre-Lens gives a small taste of her lavish lifestyle. Starting December 5 and running until February 29, it has 220 works including paintings, ceramics, furniture, tapestries and stage costumes.
www.louvrelens.fr

4 Christmas trees are to the fore at the Fêtes du Sapin, Saulieu, Côte-d’Or, next weekend where the town celebrates its local industries and crafts.
www.saulieu.fr

5 Chocolate fans will also be drawn to the Côte-d’Or for the annual chocolate market in Santenay on December 6. Entry costs €1 but the tastings are worth every centime.
www.cotedor-tourisme.com

6 Scallops are one of the delights of the Normandy and Brittany food table and Grandcamp-Maisy in Calvados pays its respects with a two-day Coquille Saint-Jacques festival next weekend.
www.calvados-tourisme.com

7 Nativity cribs in eight villages near Miradoux in Gers, bring thousands of visitors each year to the area. This year’s theme is ‘novels’ with cribs including Robinson Crusoe and The Three Musketeers.
www.larondedescreches.org

8 Provence, too, is famous for its santonniers and their miniature nativity cribs. The Foire aux Santons, Mouans Sartoux, Alpes-Maritimes shows them at their best. Runs until December 24.
www.mouans-sartoux.com

9 The Atlantic coast may not be the first place you would expect to see dog sled racing but Saint Genis de Saintonge, Charente-Maritime, hosts the national championships – with teams working on dry land not snow. December 12-13.
www.en-charente-maritime.com

10 One for ballet fans all over France as Russia’s Ballets Talarium et Lux troupe tours the country with Swan Lake and The Nutcracker from December 15 to January 16.
www.francebillet.com

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