Berty Caswell

Written by Berty Caswell

Modified & Updated: 03 Mar 2024

Sherman Smith

Reviewed by Sherman Smith


The Quimper Festival of Cornouaille is an annual celebration that takes place in the city of Quimper, located in the region of Brittany, France. This vibrant festival showcases the rich cultural heritage of the area, with a particular focus on traditional Breton music, dance, and cuisine. The festival, which has been held for over nine decades, attracts visitors from all over the world who come to immerse themselves in the unique atmosphere and experience the authentic traditions of the region. From lively music performances to colorful parades and delicious local delicacies, the Quimper Festival of Cornouaille offers a fascinating insight into the customs and folklore of Brittany. In this article, we will delve into 13 interesting facts about this captivating event, shedding light on its history, highlights, and significance in the local community.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Quimper Festival of Cornouaille is a lively celebration of Brittany’s Celtic heritage, featuring music, dance, parades, crafts, and delicious food, making it a must-visit event for culture enthusiasts.
  • This festival, rooted in history and tradition, continues to thrive, showcasing the region’s commitment to preserving its cultural identity and sharing it with the world, creating an enchanting experience for all.
Table of Contents

A Celebration of Celtic Heritage

The Quimper Festival of Cornouaille pays homage to the Celtic roots of Brittany. With a history deeply intertwined with Celtic culture, the festival offers a captivating insight into the region’s traditions, music, dance, and folklore. Visitors can witness enchanting performances by talented musicians, dancers, and storytellers, who bring the Celtic spirit to life and create an atmosphere of magic and enchantment.

The Grand Parade

One of the highlights of the Quimper Festival of Cornouaille is the grand parade that winds through the streets of Quimper. The parade showcases the vibrant colors, intricate costumes, and impressive floats, all adorned with traditional Breton symbols and motifs. This spectacle is a feast for the eyes and a true reflection of the region’s rich cultural heritage.

Breton Music and Dance

The festival is a haven for music and dance enthusiasts. Throughout the event, visitors can indulge in the captivating sound of traditional Breton music resonating through the streets. From lively folk dances to haunting melodies played on traditional instruments like the bagpipes, the Quimper Festival of Cornouaille offers a mesmerizing experience that celebrates the region’s musical heritage.

Traditional Crafts and Arts

At the festival, visitors have the opportunity to explore the world of traditional Breton crafts and arts. Local artisans showcase their skills through demonstrations of pottery, wood carving, lacework, and other traditional crafts. It’s a chance to witness the intricate craftsmanship firsthand and perhaps even bring home a unique piece as a lasting memento of the festival.

Gastronomic Delights

The Quimper Festival of Cornouaille is a feast for the senses, and that includes the taste buds. Food stalls and local vendors offer a wide array of culinary delights that showcase the flavors and ingredients specific to the region. Whether it’s savory crepes, fresh seafood, or delectable Breton pastries, visitors can indulge in the gastronomic treasures of Brittany during the festival.

Breton Games and Sports

The festival provides a platform for showcasing traditional Breton games and sports. Visitors can witness exciting competitions such as Breton wrestling, stone lifting, and various ball games that have been a part of the region’s cultural heritage for centuries. It’s an opportunity to get a glimpse into the sporting traditions that have been passed down through generations.

Historical Reenactments

As a region steeped in history, Brittany takes pride in preserving its rich past. During the Quimper Festival of Cornouaille, historical reenactments take place, bringing key moments from Brittany’s history to life. From medieval pageantry to scenes of ancient battles, visitors can immerse themselves in the captivating stories and legends that have shaped the region over time.

Celtic Art Exhibitions

Throughout the duration of the festival, art lovers can explore exhibitions that showcase the unique and intricate Celtic art of Brittany. From intricate tapestries and illuminations to beautifully crafted jewelry and sculptures, these exhibitions offer a glimpse into the artistic traditions that have flourished in the region for centuries.

Breton Language and Literature

The Quimper Festival of Cornouaille celebrates the Breton language and literature, which are integral parts of the region’s identity. Visitors can participate in language workshops, listen to storytelling sessions, and engage with authors and poets who have contributed to keeping the Breton language and literature alive.

Children’s Activities

The festival offers a range of activities specifically designed for children, ensuring that the younger generation can also partake in and appreciate the traditions of Brittany. From workshops on traditional crafts to interactive storytelling sessions, children can immerse themselves in a world of creativity and cultural exploration.

International Connections

While the Quimper Festival of Cornouaille primarily celebrates the traditions of Brittany, it also embraces the cultures and traditions of other Celtic regions around the world. The festival welcomes international performers, musicians, and dancers, creating a vibrant international exchange of art, music, and culture.

The Festival’s Origins

The Quimper Festival of Cornouaille traces its roots back to 1923 when a group of Breton intellectuals and artists came together to promote and preserve the region’s cultural heritage. What started as a small gathering has now evolved into one of the most significant cultural events in Brittany, attracting both locals and tourists alike.

A Continuing Tradition

The Quimper Festival of Cornouaille has stood the test of time and continues to thrive year after year. It remains a testament to the region’s commitment to preserving its cultural identity and sharing it with the world. With each passing edition, the festival reaffirms the importance of cultural traditions and their ability to transcend time and connect people from all walks of life.

The Quimper Festival of Cornouaille is an enchanting journey into the heart of Brittany’s cultural heritage. From the captivating music and dance performances to the vibrant parades and exhibitions, this festival offers a colorful celebration of tradition, art, and community. Whether you are a music enthusiast, an art lover, or simply someone seeking to immerse yourself in a truly unique cultural experience, the Quimper Festival of Cornouaille is an event not to be missed.


In conclusion, the Quimper Festival of Cornouaille is a vibrant and culturally rich event that showcases the unique heritage and traditions of Brittany. With its 13-day duration and diverse range of activities, this festival offers something for everyone to enjoy. From traditional music and dance performances to culinary delights and artisanal crafts, this festival provides a fascinating insight into the rich cultural tapestry of the region.Whether you’re a music enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a memorable experience, the Quimper Festival of Cornouaille is sure to leave a lasting impression. Don’t miss out on the chance to immerse yourself in the authentic charm and traditions of Brittany at this extraordinary event. Mark your calendars and get ready to celebrate Brittany’s unique cultural identity at the Quimper Festival of Cornouaille!


1. When does the Quimper Festival of Cornouaille take place?

The Quimper Festival of Cornouaille takes place annually during the last week of July.

2. How long does the festival last?

The festival lasts for 13 days, offering visitors ample time to explore and enjoy the various activities and events.

3. What can I expect to see at the festival?

At the Quimper Festival of Cornouaille, you can expect to witness traditional music and dance performances, culinary showcases, art exhibitions, and craft markets, all reflecting the rich heritage of the region.

4. Is the festival suitable for families?

Absolutely! The Quimper Festival of Cornouaille offers family-friendly activities and events, ensuring that visitors of all ages can have a memorable and enjoyable experience.

5. Are there any admission fees for the festival?

While some events may require tickets or have admission fees, many of the activities during the festival are free of charge, making it accessible to a wide audience.

6. Can I participate in the festival?

Yes! The Quimper Festival of Cornouaille encourages active participation, whether it’s through joining in traditional dances, trying out local culinary specialties, or interacting with artisans and craftsmen.

7. Is there parking available near the festival venues?

Yes, there are various parking options available near the festival venues. It is advisable to plan your parking in advance, as the festival attracts a large number of visitors.

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