Visiting France in April – Bellows Festival – Le Carnaval Des Soufflets

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France has everything that you could ever want to see on your holidays: a great city like Paris, good beaches, beautiful weather, more monuments than any other country, lovely nature and incredible mountain scenery and the best wines in the entire world. It is not surprising that France is the most visited country in Europe…

What is more, France is a perfect place to visit all year round. Book a flight and don’t plan anything else. As car rental is very cheap in France, just hire a car at the airport and go for a road trip to learn more about this beautiful country.

Trip to France in April can be also very interesting as many interesting events take place in that month, which are suitable for all family…

Just a few hours’ drive from Paris, there is a very pleasant place to stay, Nontron. Nontron is a commune in the Dordogne in south-western France it is an ideal place to stay in the beautiful Aquitaine region. It is a typically medieval French town and has all the character you would expect of this rich, green area of France. A town resting on the valley sides surrounded by forest and long open fields for as far as the eye can see.

In early April, the towns people of Nontron celebrate the ‘Bellows Festival’ (le Carnaval des Soufflets) by dressing up in nightshirts, cotton caps, clogs, masks and, last but not least, carrying 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 air and free it from bad spirits, wherever they may be hiding (even under ladies’ skirts)! It is said that it was the monks from nearby Saint Sauveur abbey who started the tradition off on Ash Wednesday in order to enter Lent in a state of purity. So since then, every year, many visitors with the townsfolk of Nontron use bellows to blow air up each other’s night shirts in the hope of blowing away all the evil spirits.

After the festival, you can go for a drive to La Rochelle, which is only 2 hours drive from Nontron. It is a city in south-western France and a seaport on the Bay of Biscay, a part of the Atlantic Ocean. A one thousand year old city with its eye on 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.

To sum up, is a very easy option, so book a flight and explore France in more detail.

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