In Occitania, we like eating, drinking and sharing our meals in a festive spirit. All through the year, you can take part in festivals organised in our villages and get to know our specialities (over 250 are officially labelled) and authentic flavours. Come and meet our farmers, enjoy the best of their produce and enjoy the wonderful way of life here.
Just a few good things are enough to make the festivities a success. Bouzigues oysters, Rocamadour cheeses, a bottle of Armagnac, Foix sausage, olives (Lucques from Nîmes or Bize-Minervois)…Farmers set up their stands at the heart of the village.
The organisers also set up large dining tables for guests in the evening. There is a stage for the musicians. Children are spoiled rotten, with plenty of games and events. You won't be able to resist! Eat, dance and stock up on food and drink.
A week to enjoy Occitania's favourite dish: cassoulet. The festivities take place in the last week of August in Castelnaudary. With dancing, "banda" brass bands and "corso fleuri" parades.
Much of the year, the seasons are celebrated at festivals in Occitania to the delight of visitors. Céret celebrates the cherry from the end of May. Then comes the melon: in Lectoure, Pézens and Montady. Bize-Minervois celebrates its olives. Moissac its Chasselas grapes. Thegra, in the Lot region, its walnuts. Le Mas d’Azil in Ariège, its figs. From Gard (Lasalle) to Aveyron (Sauveterre-de-Rouergue), chestnuts are roasted and made into soups, flour or jam. And let's not forget our spices, with the Saffron Festival in Cajarc!
Le Vigan, in the Gard region, organises a great Cévennes festival on the last Sunday in October. Pride of place goes to the Reinette apple from Le Vigan and the sweet onion from Cévennes, the only "Protected Designation of Origin" in its category.
The market turns into a festival or the festival turns into a market… no matter which, the main thing is to have some tasty, beautiful things to eat. For a summer evening, when the heat has let up and the village catches its breath all the better to surprise you, it's a real pleasure to share between inhabitants, holidaymakers and passing visitors. Festive evening markets take place all over Occitania in summer.
At the end of August, the Sault plateau cooperative, on the border of Aude and Ariège, celebrates its speciality: the exquisite Sault potato. In Sainte-Marie, in Pyrénées-Orientales, artichokes are in the spotlight. White garlic lends its fragrance to Beaumont-de-Lomagne in Tarn-et-Garonne, while Lautrec in Tarn gives pride of place to pink garlic.
To savour these delicacies combined, head for the Soup Festival in Florac in Lozère in late October or in Lauret in Hérault in early February.