Limoux: Carnaval de Limoux
Approximately ten weeks of festival, this is one of the longest running carnivals in the world. Masks, costumes, music, pranks, King Carnival burned at the stake, swapping of roles, and it’s all done in the Occitan language.
Nîmes: Féria de Primavera
This is the pre-Lenten carnaval , and the first of several annual féria in Nîmes.
Sommiers: Medieval festival
Street festival featuring costumed merchants and performers, markets and music.
Annual festival, artisan craft market, medieval period-costume parade.
Nîmes: Feria de Pentecôte
The main focus is bullfighting in the Roman amphitheater.
Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer: Gypsy Festival & Pilgrimage
Traditional gypsy music, traditional gypsy costumes, white horses of the Camargue, solemn procession of over 3,000, headed by the king of the Gypsies and the archbishop, weaves its way through the village streets, singing a repetitive chant until everyone reaches the sea. Bullfighting, concerts, lots of food.
Beaucaire: La Fête du Drac
Traditional festival in honor of the town’s dragon mascot.
Pavalas: The Maguelone Music Festival
The cathedral is home to a festival of ancient music.
Montpellier: Le Printemps des Comédiens
Theater and live performances, proposing between 20 and 25 shows and drawing more than 40,000 paying spectators.
Narbonne: Festival National de Théâtre Amateur
Ten evenings of open air amateur theater.
Sète: Fête de la Saint-Pierre
The town pays homage to St. Pierre, patron saint of fishermen.
Montpellier: Festival de Radio-France
Music festival focusing on opera, classical music, and jazz. 90% of the concerts are free.
Beaucaire: Medieval Fair
A week-long recreation of the medieval market and other celebrations.
Avignon: Festival d’Avignon
Theater festival that runs for three weeks.
Carcassonne: Dance, music, and theater festival
Opera, Dance, Theatre, Classical Music, French and international popular music, Modern music. Many concerts are free.
Saint-Guilhem-le-Désert: Annual fête
Baroque organ and choral music is held in a medieval monastery.
Sète: Water jousting
Originating in Sete centuries ago, this sport is now a passionate fixture of Languedoc traditional culture. The most important tournaments take place on August 25, la Fête de Saint Louis.
Orb Valley: Festival de la Vallée de l’Orb
Takes place in various town squares throughout the Orb valley, this festival features lots of wine and folk music activities.
Béziers: La Féria
Five day féria focusing on bullfights, concerts, food. Attracts over a million visitors annually.
Narbonne: Semaine Bavaroise
In alternating years, Narbonne honors twin town, Weilheim in Germany, by a week of celebrations of Bavarian food and folklore.
Pavalas: Féria d’Automne
Nîmes: Féria des Vendanges
Basically a repeat of the Féria de Pentecôte that takes place in May.
Le Grau/Port Camargue:
Traditional water tournaments and bull fights.
Aigues Mortes: Annual fête
Béziers: Les Primeurs d’Oc
Premier wine festival in Languedoc. Features wine, music, dance, and theater.
Pezenas: Occitan Christmas
Montpellier Christmas Market
Béziers Christmas Market
Perpignan Christmas Market
Carcassonne: Marché au Gras
Christmas market with lots of artisanal crafts and regional food products (and FOIE GRAS!!!)
I highly doubt that I’ll make it to all of these festivals and events, but they do look like fun. I think I’ll opt most likely for the various markets, medieval festivals, Christmas festivities, and wine festivals.
What have I missed? If you know of other worthwhile festivals/markets/events going on annually in the Languedoc, please tell me about them in the comments. Maybe there’s a festival that you think is great somewhere else in France? If so, I’d sure love to hear about it.