Throughout the year, but in particular during the summer months Bretons celebrate their culture by holding traditional festivals, Fest Diaz (day festival), Fest Noz (night festival) and Pardons (similar to a Church fete). Most of the larger festivals have a procession on one of the days, where everyone is dressed in their local Breton costumes, (varies according to each town) with Breton music bands and dance groups. After the procession all the dance groups and bands perform on a stage and also take part in competitions.
With all these events there is always an area where you can buy food, from moules frites to crepes and the food is excellent value at approx. 5€ per meal, with wine and beer sold at well below bar prices! If you have not been to one before they are definitely worth seeing.
LA FORET FOUESNANT – FETES DES CERISIERS – MID JUNE
This is one of the smallest festivals we have seen, but none the less worth a visit. It is a celebration of the Cherry harvest and you can also buy the cherries by the kilo. You can watch the procession for free and then everyone goes into the Théâtre de Verdure de Peniti to watch the performances, which has an admission fee. During the summer there are also free concerts/performances every Wednesday evening in the Théâtre de Verdure de Peniti.
PONT L’ABBE – FETES DES BRODEUSES – DEBUT JULY
A medium size festival spread over four days and evenings held within the old walled town. There is a procession through the town and then all the groups perform on several stages with a spectacular backdrop overlooking the river.
LA FETE DES POMMIERS – FOUESNANT – MID JULY
A four day festival in Fouesnant clelebrating the apple harvest, which is pretty important around here!
QUIMPER – FESTIVAL DE COURNOUAILLE – END JULY
Held for over 80 years, the biggest festival in the area and very popular. There are over 200 activities/spectacles spread over 9 days of which some are free entry. You can also book in advance on line www.quimper-tourisme.com.
PONT AVEN – LES FETES DES FLEUR D’AJONCS – END OF JULY
A small festival over three days, with lots of local groups and the Queen of the Ajoncs, (Gorse) in a procession on the Sunday. Sometimes there are even Morris dancers from England!
CONCARNEAU – FESTIVAL DES FILETS BLEU – MID AUGUST
The ‘Festival des Filets Bleus’ is spread over three days and evenings and includes a Breton procession with the Queen of the Festival. Some of the events charge an entry fee, see the brochure for more info. There are also many other events put on during the summer evenings, opposite the Ville Clos and these are all free entry.
LORIENT – FESTIVAL INTER CELTIQUE – DEBUT AUGUST
One of the largest festvals in the area over 10 days. Lots of events, concerts and dancing throughout Lorient, very popular as it involves groups from different Celtic regions and each year it has a theme of one country. There is an entrance fee, but as always some events are free, for more information log onto, www.festival-interceltique.com
NEVEZ – LA FETE DE L’AVEN – MID AUGUST
Just one day and evening, but generally fresh seafood cooked to order, with music and dancing. There is also childrens entertainment put on every Wednesday evening, ‘Place des momes’.
FESTIVAL DES GENTS D’OR A BANNALEC – MID AUGUST
A small traditional Breton festival, music and dancing in the Streets along with local Breton food specialities.
POINTE DE TREVIGNON – FEST NOZ – DEBUT AUGUST
A small evening festival with dance and music, also local bands of Fishermen singing traditional shanties! The food is fresh fish caught by the singers! A great night out and a location second to none, especially when the sun sets.