La Bretagne en Fete
French people have always had the happy knack of turning an ordinary occasion into something very special and nowhere is this talent celebrated more brightly than in Brittany in summertime. The French fondness for costume, gaiety and dance blends with the Celtic love of tradition, music and story-telling to create a wonderful atmosphere of carnival and festivity. Add to this a soupcon of sailing ships and sea shanties and you have the recipe for hours of fun and many unforgettable memories. The sounds of the traditional instruments of Brittany fill the air: the biniou (Breton bagpipes), the bombard (an early oboe) and of course the accordion and violin.
Bretagne en Fete
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Summer festivals have become an art form all across France, but Brittany has the edge on them all. No-one sits around simply listening. The devilishly fast rhythms dare you to join the dance, but goodwill abounds and there’s always someone high stepping around who will be delighted to show you the steps. Each fete has its own special flavour. It might be wrestling or rock, pancakes or parades, tournaments or tale-telling, but above all else the lord of the dance reigns supreme. There are thousands of performers and many hundreds of events; in fact so many that it is hard for the visitor to know which direction to take.
This is where ‘Bretagne en Fete’ comes in. It can help plan a holiday to include all the best of the celebrations. The dates of many festivals vary with each year, and these can be checked out the local tourist office. However the most important are momentous occasions and they are held regularly at fixed times of the year. Dancers, singers, musicians of every description are summoned from all over the world to come and perform. These are the times so eagerly looked forward to by the local residents; times when they can don their splendidly embroidered dresses once again to join in the parades or cut a dash on one of the many improvised dance floors.
The map ‘Bretagne en Fete’ illustrates the largest, most exciting of these wonderful occasions and catches the bubbling spirit of Festou-noz. Literally this means ‘night festival’ but for those who are privileged to join in the festivities it simply translates as a celebration of the joy of living.
The map is 18"x24" and is printed in French and English versions. It can be sent in a roll pack.