Two Cool November Festivals In France

November is the Month of two cool festivals in France.  The Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Festival and the Festival of Animal and Nature Photography in Montier-en-Der in the Haute-Marne departement.

If you’re like me lovers of animals, outdoors, photography and wine then you will love those two festivals at the heart of the fall season in France.

Festival of Beaujolais Nouveau

The third Thursday of November marks the beginning of the Festival of the Beaujolais Nouveau.  For four days winemakers open their cellars for wine tasting from lunch time until late at night.  The festival marks the end of the “vinification” (wine making) and the beginning of the commercialization of this new Beaujolais wine.

The new fruity wine is a great expectation for both wine amateurs and wine connoisseurs.  During this festival you can attend numerous events, wine tastings, and other celebrations all through the day.

However, you need to remember that new wine can get you drunk very easily and fast if you’re not watching.  Driving right after you leave the festival is not recommended, so If you are going to participate in wine tasting, my advice would be you need to stay at a hotel or private dwelling chez l’habitant nearby and just walk back home.

My Family Link to Beaujolais

Beaujolais is very dear to me and my family and we are very familiar with the New Beaujolais Wine Festival because Beaujolais is where my mother and her siblings spent most of the World War II years when they were just small children.

During WWII a lot of children from Lyon (my family’s home town, and mine) were sent to country side areas for safety. My mother was 6 years old when she ended up with in a wonderful family of winemakers in Beaujolais where she spent over three years during those trouble times in France.

Lyon being a large city and the headquarter of the French Resistance against Nazis was not the safest place to live, so my grandparents decided to take advantage of a program that homed children in dangerous cities to country villages.  So my grandparents sent their three kids away to safer grounds, and that’s how my mother, aunt and uncle ended up in Beaujolais in a very well known wine making village called Villié-Morgon which makes a wine of the same name.

Host families were supposed to take only one child, but the family who took my mother also ended up with my uncle who was only two years old.  My aunt was with another family next door to them.  The family who took care of my mother and uncle had three daughters of their own which I met many, many years later when I was 8 years old.  Two were few years older than my mother, and one was my mother’s age and both became best buddies.

It was with Beaujolais Nouveau that my mother and her friend got a little drunk once when they were around 12 years old after the War.  Interestingly, my mother never like wine as an adult, though.  It was just a fun Beaujolais story that she used to tell us. I know big culture shock here, but what can I say, wine is almost like water in France.

So, if you enjoy real French culture, beautiful villages and landscapes, and if you like Beaujolais Nouveau, I am sure you will enjoy the Beaujolais Nouveau Wine Festival.

The Festival of Animal and Nature Photography

Montier-en Der in the Haute-Marne Department is the center of a very interesting festival if you are a lover of nature and photography.  The town’s festival of animal and nature photography is starting the third week of November. This years it will be held from November 15th through November 18th.

You will find around 15 expositions areas, indoors and outdoors with more than 2000 animal and nature pictures from all around the world.  The program focuses on nature and environmental themes with gorgeous photographs of animals, landscapes, ocean depths and other environmental related scenery.

You can also attend some projection conferences with known scientific, cultural and mediatic professionals who are part of the program, including famous photographers from the world over.

If you happen to be in France this month of November or going to be there, you might want to keep those two festivals in mind.

 Enjoy the beautiful pictures for the Montier-en-Der festival!

Don’t forget to leave your comments before you go!


20 thoughts on “Two Cool November Festivals In France”

  1. Hey Sylviane,

    Oh, I would love the wine festivals. I’m a big lover of wine.

    Wow, thanks for sharing that story with us about your grandmother and Mom. We never know what happens in the past without the stories that our families share. How awesome was that they some friendships formed from it.

    I bet the art festival is pretty too. I love looking at photography. I’m not good at it myself but I love looking at others talents.

    Thanks for sharing and enjoy your weekend.

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    1. Hi Adrienne,

      Well, I’ve just learned something about you! I didn’t know you like wine! I love wine, I couldn’t live without it 🙂 However, I have never got drunk drinking it, only with moderation, even though I was told that I have a pretty good resistance to it 🙂

      Yes, my mother always kept her roots to Beaujolais alive, she loved that family who took her and my uncle. They were like second parents to her, and their daughters like sisters.

      By the time I met those ladies (the daughters) they were middle aged women and the dad and mom had gone. But my mom had told me about them all my childhood.

      Because of my father’s death and my mom getting sick following this for few years, I was already eight by the time I met them. I will never forget how the eldest of the three looked at me like she’d seen the something so extraordinary and said to my mom “Is that your daughter”? Thinking about it now, when that woman met my mom, my mom was two years younger than I was then, maybe that’s what she was thinking by looking at me.

      Anyway, I’ve never forgot that day, and that’s also the day I’ve fell in love with wine. I know I was young 🙂

      Thanks for coming, as always, Adrienne.

  2. Hey Sylviane, Interesting article. I live in La Grange Texas and we do have wineries here as well. May I say at least one that I know of just a few miles away. But I do know wine tasting is a very big sport to some. People travel hundreds of miles when our winery advertises a new wine taste of the year. Your article was very interesting. Thanks for sharing.
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    1. Hi Carol,

      Thank you for coming. Yes, some people do love wine tastings don’t they? I like it too, though, because it’s fun and I love new wine.

      Have a great week end!

  3. The animal and photography looks very interesting to me..I love both of it…It is so great to read about the festivals of other countries. I am too fond of them..It is festive season here in India too…Thanks for this informative share, Sylviane

  4. Hi Sylviane
    Oh I would love the Festival of Beaujolais Nouveau. You recently shared with me the story of your family when we were talking about drinking wine in the morning 🙂

    Given I am also an animal lover I am sure I would love the Animal and Nature one too. I loved the video so thanks for sharing it.

    As I have said to you before Sylviane as Australia is such a new country we have no history like this. No beautiful old buildings just modern everything and “outback”. Oh I am not complaining I love Australia but I just go into amazement at seeing some pictures of Europe.

    I love this blog.

    See you on our hangout this week.

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    1. Hi Sue,

      Well, thank you for for loving this blog 🙂 Lots of cool posts coming up with food, deserts and drinks recipes for the Holidays!

      I have always dreamed about Australia. I’ve got to go at least once in my life time!

  5. Hi Sylviane
    I love the outdoors, animals, photography and wine!! so this post was perfect for me 🙂
    What an interesting story about your mom & grandmother thanks for sharing.
    I’m a little like you I love wine but very rarely get drunk on it lol red is my favourit I don’t care for white!
    We live not too far from France so maybe I may get a chance to visit sometime for the festivals…here in Crete it is “Raki” making time so maybe I will do a random post about that..
    Hope you have a great week
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    1. Hi Pauline and nice to see you here.

      I’m like you I love red wine and don’t care too much about white. I know you’re not far from France compare to me here 🙂 Have you gone before?

    1. Hi Joy,

      It’s my pleasure to share and I’m glad if you appreciate.

      Thanks for coming 🙂

  6. The wine festival is right up my alley! I love wine, and I would love to go to a festival like that. I didn’t know you could get drunk quicker on new wine, but that’s probably a good thing to know! I went to a wine expo once in NY – not nearly anything like the festival. It was just a few hours in a hotel but I did get to taste a whole lot of wines and I didn’t walk a straight line out 🙂

    The photography festival sounds fun too but I think they should add a little wine to that one, too 🙂
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    1. HI Carol,

      Nice to see you back around 🙂

      The reason why people get drunk quicker is because new wine taste very fruity and light, so people drink more, but it actually has the same amount of alcohol as any other wines, that’s why I said that new wine can make you drunk fast!

      Being in France, I wouldn’t doubt that you can consume wine at the photo expo as well 🙂

  7. I love the Beaujolais Noveau. My relatives would send post cards from France regarding the festival. It’s fantastic!

  8. How do you like to have a cup of hot chocolate in the cool comforts of France and its festivals in November. Imagining the thought is especially charming!

  9. Festival of Animal and Nature Photography. How cool is that! It’s like getting in touch with variousnature and fauna photographers coming from all over the world!

  10. Oh, those lovely sites during the Beaujolais is so overwhelming. You can’t just ignore the two festivals. They’re breath-taking and worth blogging.

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