What Happens in France in April: Events, Festivals & Key Dates



What Happens in France in April: Events, Festivals & Key Dates

April is a time when the weather is warming up, days are lengthening, and spring is definitely on its way! Here are the key events, festivals, and dates you need to know about in France in April.

Poisson d’avril

The month kicks off on April 1st with the Poisson d’Avril, France’s version of April Fool’s Day. As with other countries, jokes and pranks are often played, but France has one unique tradition that stands out – sticking a paper fish on unsuspecting people’s backs and shouting, “Poisson d’Avril!”

Pâques or Easter

While Easter in 2024 falls at the end of March, Easter weekend spills over into April. As with other countries, Easter eggs and egg hunts are the main way of celebrating. However, in France, instead of the Easter bunny, the myth is that the church bells fly off to Rome (home of the Vatican!) and return to scatter chocolates in children’s gardens all around France!

Following the traditions, bells can be heard ringing all over France on Easter Sunday, and chocolatiers and boulangeries are full of hand-made delights.

Read our full guide to celebrating Easter in France like a local here.

Charente Traditions

Here in the beautiful Charente, we know it is springtime as every boulangerie has Les Cornuelles and Les Pines,. Cornuelles are triangular-shaped shortbread-type biscuits which are said to represent the Holy Trinity (they are even linked to Pagan fertility festivals!) And les pines are, well, quite evidently a fertility symbol…!

There’s much frivolity in our house over a coffee and a cream-filled choux ‘pine’ or ‘rameau’.

International Kite Festival at La Rochelle

April is also time for the annual International Festival du cerf-volant at Chatellailon Plage. It is simply stunning. This three-day must-see festival has synchronised kite displays, kite surfing, free kite flying sessions, arts and crafts, stalls, food trucks, and hundreds of huge kites to admire along the whole stretch of the beach.

Bordeaux wine tasting

In Bordeaux, France’s largest wine region, many wine producers have their Open Days in April. There’s a good guide to the different open days on offer in 2024 here. Another must for wine lovers is the Blaye Spring Wine Festival, which hosts more than 80 major wine producers on the weekend of April 13th and 14th.

Plant festivals

There are many Spring plant festivals taking place all over France. At the historic Priory in nearby Marcillac Lanville,  the annual plant sale takes place this year on April 7th. There are local producers such as boulangers, food trucks, potters, and soap-makers, as well as plants a-plenty. Keep a lookout for your local fêtes.

Brocante season

As the weather warms up, car boot sales (vide greniers) and bric-a-brac/antique markets (brocantes) begin to reappear, and the Easter weekend sees the start of the season. We have the annual Genac-Bignac Brocanteevery Easter weekend. Check out this website for details of events in towns and villages throughout France.

What are you up to in France this April?

Have a fantastic month, and enjoy the Spring weather!

Local Life in France

From shopping at the supermarket to sending a parcel at Post Office, finding your local dechetterie to who to call in an emergency—FrenchEntrée is here to help with every aspect of day-to-day living in France. Read our Essential Reading guides for advice on living in France, visit our Shopping zone or Pets zone, or brush up your language skills with our handy learning French resources.

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Carol, a teacher from Hurworth in Darlington, lives in Charente in South-West France, where she runs La Grue Gites with her family.

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