Collioure Festival

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Yearly Festivals - in and around Collioure

France is well known for its traditions and proud of its food, wine and culture - Collioure, in the heart of Catalan country, is no exception. Here, festivals are seen as important events which show appreciation for the people, and the historical significance, of what they achieved. Check the tourist office to see if events are scheduled during your stay in Collioure village. Following is a list of some of the key festivals held in Collioure and its surroundings.

January..... In this culturally-rich region of France Christmas celebrations are prolonged. This is because the Spanish and French Catalonians have these festivals, celebrations and events centred around the Three Kings Procession which is always held on January 6th. Perpignan, just a 20 minute train or car ride, has numerous processions and events in early January. Also the *huge* Summer sales commence across the region in this week, in line with the Spanish sales.

February..... Festival of Antonio Machado 24-25 Feb, a famous Catalan poet who lived in the village.

Easter..... Good Friday sees the Sanch Procession - a procession along the stations of the cross, past altars set up in the streets and held at night by torch-light.

April..... During the weekends Catalan dances dressed in traditional red, white and black, regularly perform Sardane Dances in the streets and squares.

May..... Ceret Cherry Festival in mid-May celebrating the seasons cherry harvest with week-long events and celebrations. Ceret is a 20 minute drive by car from Collioure. Also Figueres celebrates the annual Festa Major de la Santa Creu (Festival of the Holy Cross) each year on 3 May which is fabulous fun.

June..... Festival of St. John on 23 June sees fires lit according to old tradition on the Boramar beach with fireworks, Catalan Sardane dances, herbal bouquets. Again it is held at night under torch-light.

July..... A national holiday on 14 July and in Collioure there is a full program of parades, dances, theatre productions and other celebratory events.

August..... Festival of St. Vincent or Festa Major de Collioure (14-18 Aug) is the village's main festival and has been part of annual events since 1701. It is now well-known with visitors from all over Europe descending on the village during festival week. Many camp on the hills behind just to see the fireworks spectacular on 16 August. Other activities include a bullfight, competitions on the water, troupes of dancers, concerts and street music.

September..... During the weekends Catalan dances dressed in traditional red, white and black, regularly perform Sardane Dances in the streets and squares.

October.... Fete Des Vendanges in Banyuls (10 min. drive) in the 3rd week of Oct. Spectacular events celebrating the year's grape harvest including the arrival of the barques catalanes (traditional Catalan boats) into the bay and then the vendanges ball in the village square. It is a week full of food, wine, traditional tastings, music and dancing.

December..... Christmas exhibitions and markets are held inside the famous Ch√Ęteau Royal.

New Year's Eve..... Themed celebrations and spectacular events form part of New Years Eve in Collioure. Residents are visitors often dress in fancy dress relating to the theme and a tent is always constructed on the Boramar beach for diners, bands play in the streets and little squares or courtyards around the village. There is extra entertainment for children and, ofcourse, a sensational fireworks display over the bay at midnight. Many locals bring picnics and set up on the beach dining and relaxing before the spectacular 20 minute fireworks display lights up the sky. It has to be seen to be believed !!