Is it worth going on a trip to Côte d'Azur in autumn? Of course it is, because France is beautiful at any time of the year.
All the more so – in the height of the «mellow season» when the sun gently warms instead of being hot and there are relatively few vacationers on the beach. You can easily walk around any city of Provence visiting the attractions and get to almost any «point» of the coast without queues and squash. At that, the prices on airline tickets, hotels and restaurants fall.
Do not forget about the autumn holidays! You will spend excellent time taking part in the «Feast of Chestnut», merry Halloween tricks or on the Riviera during the exciting «Sailing Regatta».
In the first month of autumn it is worth planning a visit to Nice and Saint-Tropez. In the middle of September in Nice you can get to the «Port Festival». Old and young go on the streets – the locals and the city visitors walk, visit exhibitions, enjoy live music, performances of the street performers, delicious fish and seafood dishes. In the evening there is the traditional colourful and loud fireworks!
Then let’s move to St-Tropez where at the end of September (during the last week) the sailing regatta is held. This is truly «a moveable feast» because «Saint-Tropez Sails» takes place here every year for over thirty years and has become a tradition! (It all began with two yacht race). Now each year this exciting sporting event involves several hundreds of sailboats.
October is a no less eventful month. Across the country, the Chestnut Festival is celebrated (in the 2nd Sunday of October).
The chestnuts have long been the national product in France, the inhabitants of the country were the first to cultivate the fruits of this tree. In the old days these fruits replaced the poor bread and potatoes, and later chestnuts came to be considered a delicacy! So in the «Chestnut Festival» you can treat yourself with chestnuts in many different forms – you will be offered delicious soups, salads and desserts from chestnuts in any cafe or restaurant.
Since 1989, every year in October France celebrates the Reading Festival (it is held in the second half of the month). The book lovers celebrate three days – at that time the meetings of readers with popular writers and poets, book exhibitions and fairs, conferences and readings are held. On this holiday it is usual to gift the book to the relatives and friends, also many bring their books to the public libraries.
Halloween (on the thirty-first of October) is celebrated in almost all countries and France is no exception. The most active part in the carnivals and parties on this occasion is taken by youth. Long before the holiday they prepare costumes of different spirits and «scary» masks!
The history of this holiday is rooted in the distant past, as far back as the ancient Celts. (Celtic tribes s divided the year only into 2 parts – summer and winter. It was considered that the winter comes in the night of November 1). The Celts believed that in winter the Sun God whom they worshiped was coming to the prison of the Prince of Darkness, and that was why the evil spirits with the dead could invade the real world.
In November (continuing the Halloween) in France, on the first day, the All Hallows' Day is celebrated. On the Cote d'Azur it is the main holiday of the months. This day people light candles in sign of commemoration of deceased relatives and ancestors, visit the cemeteries, pray, Catholic canticles can be heard everywhere.
On November 11, the French celebrate the Armistice Day – the end of the First World War in 1918. On this day, they remember the war dead, lay flowers at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and other monuments.
In the second half of the month it is worth visiting Monaco where on November 19 the Monegasques Holiday takes place (the Monegasques is a small ethnic group living here. They are about two percent of the total population). During the holiday the Monegasques dress up the clothes of their flag colours, red and white. In the morning, the Mass in the Monegasque language is usually said in the Cathedral. Then on the square you can see the parade of guards and in the evening in honour of the holiday the opera is performed in Monte Carlo. The Prince of Monaco participates in all the festivities.