Les Tripettes de Barjols
One of the most unusual festivals in Provence!
Since the 17th Januay 1350, the people of Barjol have proudly celebrated the Feast Day of Saint Marcel – the patron saint of their village. This colourful festival takes place over 2 days on the weekend closest to the Feast Day, i.e. the weekend closest to the 16th January.
A costume parade with ‘bravadeurs’, pipes and tambourines marches through the town. In the middle of the procession, a bullock covered in ribbons is led to the church by a cortege of butchers and chefs. Blessed in front of the church, it is led through the streets of the town and killed in the evening.
The following day, everyone gathers for a large mass in the Collegial church, and the bust of Saint Marcel is paraded through the streets of the villages. Next, the bullock is skewered and roasted in the middle of the general jubilation: the shots by the ‘bravadeurs’ mix with the music of the ‘tripettes’ danced by all. That evening, the beef is eaten!
In its current form, a bullock is only killed every 4 years.
The ‘corsos fleuris’
Originating from the Carnival, the ‘corso fleuri’ is an integral part of Var tradition. On the Saturday, the chariots are decorated with thousands of flowers, and on Sunday, they are paraded through the streets of the village. Fanfares, folk groups or people in costume accompany the parade. In Bormes, Sainte-Maxime and Saint-Raphaël, the mimosa blossoms are scattered over the parade, elsewhere, multi-coloured carnations or other cut flowers are used to decorate the chariots. The festival always closes with a battle of flowers!
The main ‘corsos’ are in Bormes-les-mimosas, Carqueiranne, Cavalaire-sur-Mer, Cogolin, Draguignan, Le Lavandou, Ollioules, Roquebrune-sur-Argens, Saint-Raphaël and Sainte-Maxime, of which the most well-known is Bormes-les-mimosas. It takes place on the last weekend in February. At 80 years old, it is one of the oldest ‘corso fleuris’.
Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival
Villa Noailles has hosted the Festival since 1985. Organised around a competition, the festival hosts exhibitions and round table discussions. The competition brings together 10 stylists and 10 photographers, chosen by professional juries. The creations of the chosen candidates for the fashion competition are displayed in a catwalk, whilst the photography candidates’ work is displayed in a collective exhibition.
Open to all, the festival also invites the public to fully participate in the competition by voting during the catwalks, which are open free-of-charge, in order to choose the ‘Public Prize’. The exhibitions are also free entry, and remain open beyond the festival dates, until May or June, depending on the year.
The Festival is globally renowned, and amongst its launched creators are some famous names (Viktor & Rolf, Gaspard Yurkievich and Sébastien Meunier). Equally, you might recognise some of the jury professionals and patrons (John Galliano, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Paul Gaultier and Christian Lacroix).
Harley Davidson Festival in the Gulf of Saint Tropez
The villages of the Gulf of Saint Tropez welcome over 10,000 bikers from across Europe for the brand’s official European festival – an event highly anticipated by lovers of the V2 engines and motorbikes. Harley-Davidson comes to the Gulf of Saint Tropez for 4 days of celebrations under the sun, by the sea. From the beach of Saint Tropez to the picturesque village of Grimaud, the iconic brand does everything to offer visitors a 100% HOG in the most beautiful location on the French Riviera.
The ‘Joutes Musicales de Printemps’ in Correns (Pentecost – end of May/beginning of June)
Or the artistic adventure of a village. The ‘Joutes musicales’ is an opportunity to enjoy unexpected musical discoveries, to let your hair down and spend time together in an enchanting setting, to be open to surprise, between tradition and innovation, by the richness and diversity of traditional music across the world. Many of these creations are the result of residences concocted throughout the year in ‘Chantier’ – the centre of new, traditional and world music creation, begun by Miqueù Montanaro and directed by Françoise Dastrevigne.
Verdon Canyon Challenge
An extraordinary trail in the magnificent Verdon Canyon.
Since 1993, the route and number of kilometres has changed several times, as well as the mode of transport. Previously, it was a race over several days and stages to cover up to 120km, but since 2006, it has become a race offering several distances.
All the participating men and women have marked the ‘Trail du Verdon’ by their performances, courage, charisma, and sometimes, it is the Verdon that has changed their lives.
Formula 1 French Grand Prix in Castellet
After several decades of absence, the Grand Prix is coming back to the legendary circuit of Castellet. It is an outstanding course with a unique atmosphere. A major event not to be missed!
The summer season is marked with several festivals where visitors can discover different types of jazz. Suitable for both beginners and seasoned listeners, these festivals allow visitors to enjoy the balmy summer evenings and savour the talent of the internationally-renowned musicians. By the sea, in the vineyards or in village squares, jazz is everywhere, in the Verdon (Aups, Régusse, Tourtour, Villecroze, Moissac-Bellevue), in Brignoles, La Seyne-sur-Mer, Porquerolles (Hyères), Ramatuelle, Saint-Raphaël, Toulon, Tourrettes. Also enjoy jazz in Cavalaire in September and in Draguignan in November.
Festival de Ramatuelle
Created in 1985 by Jacqueline Franjou and Jean-Claude Brialy, to commemorate Gérard Philipe, the Festival de Ramatuelle is one of the biggest summer events in France. Devoted to theatre, singing and comedy, the shows take place in an open-air theatre, in the shade of a century-old fig tree.
In 2007, after the death of Jean-Claude Brialy, Jacqueline Franjou handed over artistic leadership of the Festival to Michel Boujenah. In this spirit of conviviality and with the desire to preserve the same philosophy of eclectic events, the show continues every year in August.
Le Bol d’Or in Castellet
The legendary 24hr international motorcycle race, ‘Le Bol’, is coming back to the Var! On the famous Paul Ricard race track in Castellet, it will close the World FIM World Endurance Championships. Beyond the course, the ‘Bol d’Or’ creates a unique atmosphere, with concerts, fêtes, modern and vintage villages, pop-up museums…
Hiking Week in the Var
For over 10 years, during the week between the end of September and the beginning of October, the Var offers free, guided walks and hikes. All abilities will have the opportunity to explore the Var’s natural heritage. Through the mountains or along the 200km of coastal walks, ramble amongst the white sand and dizzyingly-high cliffs…
Les Voiles de Saint-Tropez
The Voiles de Saint-Tropez is a must-see event, attracting over 300 vintage and modern boats, in one of the most beautiful collections in the world. This event is internationally renowned and is increasingly ‘sought-after’ by the contestants, judging by the waiting list which goes on for years. 4500 sailors, over 260 press certifications and an audience of thousands share the village, creating a magical moment.
Var Diving Festival
Dive in and discover the fascinating world of scuba-diving: films, talks, cocktails, first dives, exploratory dives, scuba-diving excursions and film competitions with boat cameras.
Each year in September, the Var Diving Festival offers activities themed around scuba-diving, suitable for all abilities, with a diverse programme that takes place on both land and sea.
Le Roc d’Azur in Fréjus
For 30 years, Fréjus has hosted the Roc d’Azur for 5 days every October in its Nature Base!
With 20,000 cyclists, 300 exhibitors and 150,000 visitors, the Roc d’Azur is the biggest mountain biking event in the world -THE gathering that all bikers wait for.
Blood, sweat and tears are on the program for the treks, marathons, tandems and marked Kid Roc between Fréjus, Roquebrune-sur-Argens and Sainte-Maxime. One of the competitions is Génération Roc, in collaboration with the UNSS (National Union of Sport in Schools), undertaken by secondary school students over 8km.
At the François Léotard Nature Base in Fréjus, a host of activities await, as well as the European Mountain Bike Trade Fair.
Collobrières is the chestnut capital and its festivals on the last three Sundays in October are unmissable.
In the Maures Massif, and the Var more generally, other villages also celebrate the chestnut, especially in the month of October: Gonfaron, La Garde-Freinet, Les Mayons and Pignans, and in some years, Toulon, Tanneron and Camps-la-Source.
Eating roast chestnuts and tasting new wines, farmers’ markets and artisan markets are also often part of the festival.
International Air Festival in Fréjus
This large gathering of kite-flyers is the 3rd largest gathering in France of air sports lovers, welcoming fans from all over France, Europe and the four corners of the world.
Whether you are a spectator or kite-flyer, the Festival is a special moment of sharing and dreaming, where everyone can rediscover the feelings of childhood amazement and wonder, in an atmosphere of joy, skill and passion.
Highlights of the programme include: demonstrations of single-line kites, flyable kites, flying school, free flight, beginners workshops and children’s decoration, sellers, bungee-jumping and storm simulator, candy release, and much more!
An event not to be missed!
Var Literature Festival
Novels, YA novels, comics, essays, art books, crime novels… to discover new literature, the Var has been hosting an event in Toulon for the past 20 years in November.
Over 3 days of the literature festival, expect a programme of autographs, lectures, meetings… and a special guest!
This key event is designed to encourage reading, support bookshops and spread culture in the Var, and has become a highlight of the year, where tens of thousands of readers can meet hundreds of authors.
Since 2015, several new ways of exchange have been trialled to entice readers, interest authors and improve interactions. A night-time event means people can come until until 9pm.
La Fête du Millésime in Bandol
Designed in 1982 to share the secret of Bandol, its unique land and its prestigious grape variety, the Mourvèdre, the Wine Vintage Festival takes place on the 1st Sunday of December, and is a special gathering of all the friends of the appellation.
The Fête du Millésime is a unique day of celebration, and Bandol invites visitors to explore the birth of wines, from the latest vintages. Not a new wine, but the promise of a great one! Another highlight is the Winegrowers Evening, entirely dedicated to pairing food with Bandol vintages, and takes place the Friday before the main festival.
The Festival of Light in Saint-Raphaël
Free and open to all, the Festival of Light has been running for 20 years, offering a moment of shared conviviality, in a magnificent illuminated environment. From the seaside to the old town, tradition and modernity come together to celebrate the light.
In Saint-Raphaël, December is full of colour: light parades, magical moments, light displays and other colourful shows, ice-skating, a Christmas village, and more. Every year, the Festival begins with a opening sequence, over the course of which, the lights are switched on in a theatrical, musical way.
Whether you come with your family, friends or partner, come and celebrate the light! Enjoy moments of magic, reconnect with your inner child – your eyes shining like stars in limitless wonder.