Arras: Exploring Local Traditions & Celebrations

Arras: Exploring Local Traditions & Celebrations

Arras: Exploring Local Traditions & Celebrations

Welcome to Arras, a charming city in northern France known for its rich history, stunning architecture, and vibrant cultural scene. In addition to its historical significance, Arras is also renowned for its traditions and celebrations that reflect the unique local culture. Join us on a journey to discover the fascinating traditions and immerse yourself in the festivities of Arras.

The Belfry and the Festival of Giants

Start your exploration of Arras by visiting its impressive belfry, a UNESCO World Heritage site. The Belfry of Arras is a towering structure that offers panoramic views of the city and its surroundings. While marveling at the architectural masterpiece, you'll notice the vibrant colors and intricate designs of the Festival of Giants, a lively tradition that has been cherished by locals for centuries.

The Festival of Giants, also known as "Les GĂ©ants," is a grand celebration held annually in Arras. This unique event features enormous puppets representing legendary characters and figures from local folklore. During the festival, the giants are paraded through the streets, accompanied by lively music and enthusiastic crowds. It's a truly mesmerizing experience that showcases the city's community spirit and artistic heritage.

The Arras Christmas Market

If you happen to visit Arras during the festive season, make sure not to miss the enchanting Arras Christmas Market. This traditional market is held in the picturesque town square, adorned with twinkling lights and decorated stalls. The market offers a delightful array of local products, including handcrafted ornaments, regional delicacies, and festive drinks.

Stroll through the market, savor the aroma of freshly baked gingerbread, and warm yourself with a cup of mulled wine. The Arras Christmas Market is the perfect place to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit while discovering unique gifts for your loved ones. Don't forget to try the local specialty, "BĂȘtises d'Arras," delicious candies with a fascinating history.

The Arras Beer Festival

If you're a beer enthusiast, mark your calendar for the annual Arras Beer Festival. This lively event brings together breweries from across France and beyond, offering an extensive selection of craft beers to suit all tastes. From hoppy IPAs to smooth stouts and refreshing lagers, you'll have the opportunity to sample a wide range of brews.

The Arras Beer Festival not only showcases the diversity of beer but also celebrates the art of brewing. You can participate in beer-tasting sessions, attend workshops on brewing techniques, and learn fascinating facts about different beer styles. Raise a glass with fellow beer enthusiasts and enjoy the convivial atmosphere that permeates the festival.

The Procession of the Holy Blood

Another significant tradition in Arras is the Procession of the Holy Blood, a religious event that dates back to the Middle Ages. This solemn procession takes place on Ascension Day and commemorates the Holy Blood relic brought to Arras by Thierry d'Alsace, the Count of Flanders.

The procession begins at the Saint-Vaast Abbey and continues through the streets of Arras, accompanied by priests, local dignitaries, and members of religious orders. The participants wear traditional attire, and the streets are adorned with floral decorations. It's a moving experience that offers a glimpse into the deep-rooted religious traditions of the city.

The Main Square Music Festival

For music lovers, the Main Square Music Festival is a must-attend event that combines world-class performances with an electric atmosphere. This annual music festival attracts renowned international artists and thousands of music enthusiasts from across the globe.

The festival takes place in the heart of Arras, on the majestic Main Square. From rock and pop to electronic and hip-hop, the lineup spans various genres, ensuring there's something for everyone. Experience the thrill of live music, dance to the rhythm, and soak up the vibrant energy that fills the air during this three-day extravaganza.

Arras is a city that cherishes its traditions and celebrates its cultural heritage with pride. Whether you're witnessing the giants parading through the streets, exploring the Christmas market, indulging in the Arras Beer Festival, joining the solemn procession, or dancing at the Main Square Music Festival, Arras will leave you enchanted and yearning for more.