Visiting France in April – Bellows Festival – Le Carnaval Des Soufflets
France has everything you could want to see on your vacation: a big city like Paris, good beaches, a beautiful climate, more monuments than any other country, enchanting nature and incredible mountainous scenery, and the best wines in the whole world. It’s no wonder that France is the most visited country in Europe …
Furthermore, France is a perfect place to visit throughout the year. Book a flight and don’t plan anything else. As car rental is very cheap in France, simply rent a car at the airport and take a road trip to learn more about this beautiful country.
The trip to France in April can also be very interesting since in that month many interesting events take place, which are suitable for the whole family …
Just a few hours drive from Paris, there is a very nice place to stay, Nontron. Nontron is a commune in the Dordogne in southwestern France, it is an ideal place to stay in the beautiful Aquitaine region. It is a typically medieval French city and has all the character you would expect from this rich green area of France. A city that rests on the sides of the valley surrounded by forests and vast open fields as far as the eye can see.
At the beginning of April, the inhabitants of Nontron celebrate the ‘Festival of the Bellows’ (Le Carnaval des Soufflets) by dressing in nightgowns, cotton hats, clogs, masks and, last but not least, wearing the all-important bellows. The tradition dates back to the carnival celebrations of the Middle Ages, when the people of Nontron used their bellows to purify the city’s air and rid it of evil spirits, wherever they hid (even under the skirts of ladies! )! It is said that it was the monks of the nearby Abbey of Saint Sauveur who started the tradition on Ash Wednesday to enter Lent in a state of purity. So since then, every year many visitors with the townspeople of Nontron use bellows to blow each other’s night shirts in hopes of blowing away all evil spirits.
After the festival, you can go to La Rochelle, which is only a 2 hour drive from Nontron. It is a city in southwestern France and a port on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. An ancient city with an eye to the future, La Rochelle is a beautiful and generous city that manages to preserve exceptional natural and architectural assets while developing its own area in an innovative, sensitive and harmonious way.
In short, it is a very easy option, so book a flight and explore France in more detail.