When one speaks of Brittany, one also inevitably speaks of music and popular traditions: Breton culture is pervaded by a strong sense of pride in its musical tradition, so varied and deeply rooted in the Celtic world.
On your trip to Brittany, you will be able to attend pardon, the religious processions, and fest-noz, the night festivals, where music and dance are fundamental components, as well as many events that re-enact popular traditions.
We recommend that you include at least one of these initiatives in your trip to experience at first hand the strong and deep-rooted Breton spirit, which has no equal.
One of the most important events in Brittany is the Festival Interceltique, which takes place every year in August in the streets of Lorient.
For no less than 41 years, the city and its surroundings have been plunged into the magical Celtic atmosphere for 10 days, amidst the sound of bagpipes, horns and traditional sounds of the Celtic nations, namely Brittany, Scotland, Ireland, Wales, the Isle of Man and Cornwall, joined in Europe by Asturias and Galicia. The event, which is a riot of dances, bands, music groups, Celtic culture, gastronomy and folklore, involves not only European countries but also those outside Europe where Celtic feeling is rooted, such as Argentina and Canada.
In addition to the activities accessible by means of an entrance ticket, one can attend the festival’s mighty opening parade through the streets of Lorient and the numerous street and fest-noz performances free of charge.
During this festival, which attracts 500,000 visitors each year, reservations are necessary to find a place in this small city taken by storm.
This collective dance that takes place in a circle during hot summer nights began as a socialising element, an opportunity to get together, sing and dance.
Over time, it has evolved musically and variations and experiments have arisen, but it remains to this day an experience deeply rooted in Brittany’s social and community history, engaging and exciting: don’t be awe-struck and join the locals to dance in a circle but above all to understand the magic of this dance by living it.
Brittany is a region of contrasting souls: alongside a massive presence of Celtic pagan culture, myths and legends, there is also an extremely deep-rooted and heartfelt Christian vocation. Travelling on the road you will often encounter churches, calvaries and crosses to remind you of God’s constant presence.
Religious traditions are therefore very much felt and practised, and the most famous are certainly the pardons, or processions of the local saint, a sort of collective feast with a religious background in which the whole community comes together in traditional costume to ask for forgiveness. The large pardons are impressive and it will be an extraordinary opportunity to experience one of the souls of Brittany up close.
An enigrastronomic festival dedicated to scallops, marking the end of the fishing season in Erquy.
A festival dedicated to international literature in Saint Malo.
Great popular festival dedicated to cod, with tastings and ancient traditions in Binic.
Festival dedicated to Celtic harp music, full of charm and magic, in a perfect medieval setting in Dinan.
Especially popular jazz review in Vannes.
Celebrates the customs, music and traditions of the Celtic world with concerts in every corner of the town in Quimper.
A festival dedicated to old-time music and love songs in Carhaix.
A wonderful opportunity to admire traditional costumes and customs at Pont l’Abbè.
10 days dedicated to wonderful Celtic music, both traditional and revived in a contemporary key in Lorient.
A festival dedicated to street theatre that takes place throughout the city of Morlaix.
A week dedicated to classical music in Quimper.
A festival dedicated to the sea amidst local traditions, popular music and gastronomic tastings in Paimpol.
A festival dedicated to music, a real gathering for many young people from the Crozon region.
This festival is dedicated to Breton folk music and dance, a not-to-be-missed appointment to enter live into the culture of Brittany: in Guingamp.
Initially linked to ancient propitiatory fishing rituals, today it has turned into a fun maritime festival in Concarneau.
A music festival dedicated to popular music from around the world, to appreciate cultures and traditions different from our own in Plozevet.
A beautiful event celebrating Celtic culture, from music and dance to excellent gastronomic specialities such as Breton beer, crepes and shellfish in Billiers-Muzillac.
Festival dedicated to flowers and local beauties in Pont Aven.
Beautiful festival dedicated to traditions, music, dance and ancient Celtic crafts in Vannes.
Festival dedicated to popular Breton dances: not to be missed in Plomodiern.