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Party like the French in Brittany

by John Mensinger on March 26, 2013

A house swap is a fun way to experience another culture. We will be spending three weeks in Brittany in July and August 2013 on a home exchange vacation and are amazed at the many festivals and special events. Your exchange partners can alert you to the possibilities and buy tickets in advance. They may arrange for friends to accompany you.

We will probably be too tired to attend the Festival of Cornouaille the day we arrive in Brittany. (See photo.) The Fête in the picturesque city of Quimper runs from July 23 to July 28, 2013. Each day there will be a variety of musical and dance groups performing, some for free. Most days you can buy a 12 euro “forfait soiree” and attend three performances if you can stay awake from 7pm to 1am. There will be daily activities and exhibits and you won’t want to miss the parade of over 500 kids in traditional costume on July 27th.

If you like constant loud music in a bucolic country setting visit the Festival at the End of the World August 2, 3, 4, 2013. A one day ticket is 30 euros, two days is 52, three days 65. This year there will be jazz, folk rock, blues, soul rock, jazz funk soul, and ladino flamenco tango fado. Famous artists include Taj Mahal and Joe Cocker. The organizers have thought of your every need including free camping on site, sound deadening headphones, and breathalyzers so you don’t get on the road having drunk too much. The name is a creative translation of its location, the Departement of Finistere.

We look forward to experiencing the middle ages on August 4, 2013 in the village of Moncontour. The first activity is a Gregorian mass at 10.30. There will be jousting tournaments, fighting demonstrations and other shows throughout the day, a parade at 6.30 in the evening, a ball from 8.30 to 10, followed by fireworks. The villagers will be in medieval outfits, but as long as you pay the fee of 10 euros you can dress as you wish.
The Celtic Festival in Lorient, August 2 to 11, 2013 is:

• 4500 musicians, singers, dancers, and others from Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Isle of Man, Galicia, Asturias, and Brittany, not to mention other non-Celtic lands.
• 700,000 visitors
• 120 shows, 60% of which are free
• An opening parade with 40,000 spectators
• Sailing, golf, running, art and craft exhibits, and a book fair

A home swap holiday is ideal for enjoying special events. All of the above take place during our three week home exchange and are only a partial list of available opportunities. Two of the festivals are within 20 minutes of our exchange home; the other two are less than 90 minutes. In August we will give you a full report of our home exchange adventures.

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