What’s coming up? The week ahead in France

A fourth heatwave arrives, August’s shooting stars return, the last ‘super moon’ of the year, celebrating left-handed people and celtic traditions - and more

We look at what the week has in store for people living in France
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A fourth heatwave for France

France’s fourth heatwave of the year so far is set to begin today (Monday, August 8) in the south, before spreading across the whole country and lasting until next weekend.

This comes just after the high temperatures linked to the summer’s third heatwave dropped slightly over last weekend.

This week, everywhere south of the Loire river should expect temperatures of around 36C-40C during the day, and 20C or more at night. In the west, highs will fluctuate between 35C and 39C, and in the north west it will be 30-34C.

Today, the departments of Gard and Vaucluse are under an amber warning for high temperatures, with yellow alerts having been applied to much of the southern quarter of the country, from the Atlantic to the Mediterranean coastline.

Read more: France’s fourth heatwave of the year forecast for this week

Look up to the night sky for the Perseids meteor shower

The Perseids meteor shower should be visible until August 25, although its activity will peak on Friday night (August 12) this year.

This annual ‘shooting star’ event is caused when the Earth passes through the stream of debris left in the wake of Comet Swift-Tuttle, bringing pieces of matter crashing into the upper atmosphere at high speed and lighting up the night sky.

The Perseids are so named because the meteors appear to come from the Perseus constellation, which is located near one of the brightest star formations, Cassiopeia the Queen.

They are visible to the naked eye, and sometimes it is possible to see around 100 meteors per hour.

The last super moon of 2022

On Thursday night (August 11), it will be possible to see the Full Sturgeon Super Moon, which is the last super moon of the year.

On this night, the Moon will appear 7% bigger and 14% brighter than normal.

The ‘sturgeon’ name comes from the native American Algonquin tribes, who noticed that it was easier to catch the fish at this time of year.

The first week of France’s new drought crisis body

With almost all of France’s departments under water restrictions as the hot, dry weather exacerbates drought concerns, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne has activated a new interministerial body responsible for dealing with the crisis.

Read more: Drought map update: See the French departments with water restrictions

The cellule interministérielle de crise will require prefects in vulnerable areas to meet with water companies and other management structures this week to discuss further measures that can be taken to conserve water supplies.

This is because it is local authorities, rather than central government, which have the greatest power to control usage in their jurisdiction.

The government has said that it hopes that the creation of the interministerial body will help to form a comprehensive picture of the situation across the country so that measures can eventually be taken on a wider scale.

Le Voyage à Nantes

This week marks the midpoint of the annual Voyage à Nantes event, which has been offering a cultural trail around the city since 2012.

This year, the event will run until September 11, with temporary and permanent art installations dotted throughout the streets, linked up by a green line on the ground.

Artists, architects, gardeners and designers have all been invited to work in museums, libraries, theatres and in the open air, to create a range of sights and events – many of them free – for visitors to enjoy.

National left-handers day

Saturday (August 13) marks France’s Journée nationale des gauchers (National left-handers day).

Inspired by the International Left-handers Day, this event first arrived in France in 2006, and has been celebrating the 15% of the national population who write with their left hand ever since.

The occasion also aims to raise awareness of the difficulties faced by some left-handed people, especially as children learning to write.

Festival Interceltique de Lorient

The Festival Interceltique de Lorient (Inter-Celtic Festival Lorient) is taking place this week, bringing 120 shows from 4,500 artists to the city to celebrate the cultural traditions of the Celtic nations.

From music to painting, theatre to sculpture, the festival – which was first founded in 1971 – involves events taking place across Lorient, focusing on art from Brittany, Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Wales, Cumbria, the Isle of Man, Galicia and Asturias.

Today (August 8), for example, will see an Interceltic Business Forum conference, a Celtic embroidery workshop, a traditional parade and a Celtic game demonstration.

The festival will draw to a close on Sunday (August 14) with a mass in Breton and a parade led by the Lorient Pipe Band.

Many events can be accessed by the public for free, for others you must buy tickets.

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