Festivals and holidays in Corsica

The traditions are very important in Corsica and across the island: throughout the year, there are religious festivals and other much pagan celebration such as, for example, the festival of the pig.

If you want to go on holiday and take part in these festivals, nothing simpler: just choose the right period taking into account the holiday calendar.
Meanwhile, you can arrive in Corsica all year by ferry, at the island’s ports. The various locations are then connected and easily accessible by public transport.

If you want to make a gastronomic holiday, you can start as early as February with A Tumbera which is one of the oldest traditions; it takes place in Renno, in the south of the island, and corresponds to the killing of the pig. For all the peasant households this was an occasion for celebration and sharing with neighbors. Currently, during the fair, all the products such as hams, sausages are on offer!

In May, however, in Venaco, there is the FIERA DI U CASGIU, that is, the cheese fair; you have the opportunity to taste the fresh cheese courses.
Corsica is rich in almonds, chestnuts and hazelnuts; these excellent products are used in various preparations during the fairs.

In Cervione, in August, there is the FIERA DI A NUCIOLA (the Hazelnut fair).
Also in August, but this time in Aragno, there is the FAIR DE L’AMANDULU (the almond fair).

Instead A GHJURNATA DI A CASTAGNA takes place in Eviso in November, while the FIERA DI A CASTAGNA, Bocognano, you have to wait the month of December.

A Bastelica is on show, r, the goodness of an exceptional product: the Apple Valley Prunelli with a fair, A NOSTRA MELA, which takes place in November.

As for the religious festivals, they are very numerous in all locations, but the best period throughout Corsica is certainly EASTER where  there are processions everywhere, and even performances of the Passion of Christ, such as in Calvi .

On March 19 in Bastia, it celebrates St. Joseph is the patron saint of the city.
May 3, again in Bastia, there is the procession of CHRIST NOIR DES MIRACLES (this is a statue found on the seabed) which ends with the blessing of the sea.

But in the month of June is celebrated SAINT ERASME, the patron saint of fishermen and sailors, in Bastia, Ajaccio, Calvi, as well as in many other countries; generally there is a procession but, later on, there is also the tasting fish.
Also in June, in Colle di Bavella, is the feast of NOTRE-DAME DES NEIGES; a pilgrimage to the very highest point where the statue of Our Lady of the Snows.

On June 24, at various locations, it is celebrated “LES FEUX DE LA SAINT-JEAN” that mark the beginning of summer; already  at night on 23 they light up the “fugare” (fires).

In Bonifacio, September 8, there is FÊTE DE LA nativité DE LA VIERGE.

On December 8 it is celebrated all over the island the FESTA DI A NAZIONE that invokes the protection of the Immaculate Conception.

Then there are the commemorations that refer to the historical past of the island. One of these festivals is held in Ajaccio from 13 to 15 August to mark the anniversary of the birth of Napoleon; it comes with various celebrations in costume parades through the FÊTES NAPOLÉONIENNES.


Photo CC-BY-SA 2.0 dmytrok

In Ajaccio, every Thursday of July and August, there is the relève DE LA GARDE.

In Bastia instead, for a whole night in the month of July, 150 people in costumes representing the historical show called “U CAMBIU DI BASTIA” or “Relevé des Gouverneurs”.

Of course the French national holiday on July 14th is celebrated all over the island with various festivities and fireworks.

Throughout the year, but especially in summer, there are many music festivals, including international ones. One of the most important takes place in the town of Heritage throughout the month of July: This is the Guitar “NUITS DE LA GUITARE Festival”.

In Ajaccio, in the Place du Diamant, also in July, there is also of international and almost unique level of its kind, “AU SON DES Mandolines”.
Even in Bastia you listen to music throughout the summer; in this case the various COUNTRY MUSIC events affecting almost all genres of music.

For jazz lovers, there are, in various locations, many events that may interest you:
In April, in Bastia, it takes place on the JAZZ FESTIVAL EQUINOXE.
In June, this time in Calvi, there is the JAZZ FESTIVAL which attracts many international artists.
The same also happens to Cervioni, in the period of late July – early August, the JAZZ AU COUVENT.

Popular music is the undisputed leader in June in L’Ile-Rousse for FESTIMUSICA; this popular music festival is to know not only the traditional music of Corsica, but also in Sardinia and other regions.

In Bastia, usually between February and April, talking about movies with the Film Festival: “RENCONTRES DU CINÉMA ITALIEN”, “RENCONTRES DU CINEMA ESPAGNOL” and “RENCONTRES DU CINÉMA ANGLAIS”.


Photo CC-BY-SA 3.0 Miguel2b

There are still many other traditional festivals in Corsica, such as FIERA DI U MARE to Solenzana in June, as well as the FIERA DI U VINU in Luri and, again in June, CAVALL’ IN FESTA in Corte and FIERA DI L’ALIVU in Montegrosso; September’s U MIELE IN FESTA in Murzo and, in August, the FIERA CAMPESTRE in Colle di Prato.

In short, one thing is certain: there is no risk of getting bored during your holiday in Corsica!

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