Each year more events are added to the calendar, so this section highlights the most popular. Keep your eyes open for posters or ask the local tourist office for more information.
The fêtes are the highlight of the village social scene and usually all the villagers and their families become involved in the celebrations and welcome visitors to participate and tour their village. There is nearly always an artisan market, with stalls scattered along the narrow streets that provide ideal opportunities to find an unusual gift or trinket to take back home. It is also an excellent opportunity to get a taste of local village hospitality, as there will always be refreshment stalls and places where you can sample some of the local specialities produced in the traditional manner.
Corsica is an island of culture with an abundance of activities that are organised by volunteers passionate about their chosen interest. There is a publication, the 'guide des manifestations culturelles' which gives listings of all the events but this is, sadly, invariably produced at the last minute, which often means certain events have passed before it becomes available. It is difficult to get global information of the events planned for the whole year, so look out for posters and ask at the local tourist offices. The majority of Corsican festivals take place in the summer months when the concerts can be held in the open air.
Here are some local events and festivals.
Cultural & Religious Events:
Fête de la Saint Erasme - Ajaccio
Mass and procession honouring the patron saint of fishermen through the streets of the old town and out to sea. The population is invited to come aboard the boats to follow this procession on the water after the priest blesses the boats.
Jazz in Aiacciu - Ajaccio - June - July
Ajaccio hosts a jazz festival every year, showcasing some of the most exciting artists of the international and French jazz scene today.
Fête de la Musique - June
Numerous free live music events are held each year across the island on 21st June.
Bastille Day - 14th July
A nationwide celebration to commemorate the French Revolution and the end of the 'Ancien Régime' with various parades, night time animations and firework displays.
Fêtes Napoléoniennes - Ajaccio - 13th to 15th August
Ajaccio celebrates the August birthday of Corsica's most famous son with period processions and a fireworks display.
Fête de L’Assomption - Ajaccio
In addition to the religious celebrations for the Assumption, there are also commemorative festivities marking the birth of Emperor Napoléon 1st, which makes this date the high point of the summer season in Ajaccio.
Les Journées Colomba - Fozzano
Celebrates the heroine of Merimées novel with street entertainers and concerts.
Festival du Film Italien - Ajaccio
The discovery of countries and their inhabitants through cinema. During this festival, Corsica welcomes directors and numerous actors, with spectators voting after the screening of each film.
Festival du Japon - Ajaccio, September
All art and culture of Japan will be celebrated. This new and atypical event in Corsica reveals the great wealth and beauty of the traditions and expression of Japanese art. Famous guests will come and present cinematographic, pictoral, theatrical, literary and even gastronomic works!
A Fiera di U Turisimu Campagnolu: Foire du Tourisme Rural - Sollacaro
Corsican producers and artisans will show their authentic products (cheeses, wines, olive oil, honey, veal, etc) and will demonstrate local crafts (pottery, basket weaving, wood sculptures). There are donkey and horse rides, plus musical entertainments and a cultural evening with songs and guitars. This is a major event in the region, concentrating on rural tourism.
Les Régates Imperiales - Ajaccio
Prestigious sailing boats take part in this race, attracting more admirers each year. In addition to being an athletic competition, the event is also a friendly and cultural regatta.
Mediterranean Trophy - Ajaccio
An international contest, this sailing competition leaves from and arrives in Corsica and is open to cabin cruisers of more than 9 metres in length.