Good Deals in February 2024

Lunar New Year, 11th February

Here’s what’s not to be missed in France in February 2024. Read more about our events and good deals!
2024: the Year of the Dragon! The Dragon is the fifth year in the fixed 12-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac. Less well known is the cycle of the five basic elements. These elements are Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth and 2024 is the year of the Wood Dragon. Due to the combination of the two cycles, the year of the Wood Dragon comes around every 60 years. This union welcomes the new year with strength, transformation, creativity, and adaptability.

Good deals in February 2024

China, Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines all celebrate the Lunar New Year. Why not make the most of this holiday by heading to a local restaurant to sample a traditional Lunar New Year food. Take your pick of dumplings for wealth, fish for prosperity, noodles for longevity or rice balls for togetherness! Belleville food market is a particularly good spot to try gastronomy from many of the countries and cultures that celebrate the Lunar New Year. 

Alternatively, for an evening activity, Thoiry Zoo has installed giant lantern sculptures of hundreds of animals in the 7th annual Festival Thoiry Lumières Sauvages. Also in Paris, the 13th arrondissement will celebrate with a parade lasting two weeks, until the 25th February. Expect an explosion of gold decorations, music, dancing… and lots of dragons! 

Mardi Gras, 13th February 

Known as Pancake day or Shrove Tuesday in anglophone countries, Mardi gras marks the start of the Christian season of Lent. Celebrations can last the entire week and, traditionally, it is when households consume all of their fatty food (hence, ‘gras’). Crepes are the perfect combination of all the food that needs to go – sugar, milk, butter and eggs! In France, people also indulge in ‘gaufres’ (waffles) and ‘beignets’ (doughnuts). Montpelliérains favour ‘oreillettes’, a type of thin, crispy doughnut, sometimes flavoured with vanilla or citrus. 

carnaval_de_paris_2024

Once again, the streets of Paris will come alive for the 27th Carnaval de Paris, replete with music, dance, spectacle, masks, and flamboyant costumes. The theme this year is ‘la poésie, la peinture et la philosophie’….dress accordingly! The parade will take place on Sunday 11th, so make sure to be at la Place Gambetta at 13h to follow it through to the Place de la République, where the party will continue into the evening. 

If a sweet treat appeals more than a parade, head to patisseries and cafes all over Paris to try doughnuts, crepes, and waffles. Try Mamiche in the 10th for perfectly fried doughnuts, Hugo & Victor in the 7th for more upmarket beignets, or, if you find yourself in the 2nd, Boneshaker Donuts offers all manner of desserts appropriate for Mardi gras celebrations. Across the river, admire the elaborate crepe designs at Crêperie des Arts or grab a menu midi at Oroyona (36 Rue Mouffetard), where you can enjoy a savoury galette, a sweet crepe, and a drink, all for just 5.50€! 

Good Deals in February 2024

Le Carnaval De Nice

Le Carnaval de Nice is another unmissable event if you want to celebrate Mardi gras in true French style. Since its creation in 1873, Le Carnaval de Nice has grown to the biggest in France. This year, it will take place over a fortnight, from the 17th February to the 3rd March. The Flower parades and street art make this entire carnival a piece of art, and the Parade of Lights is an incredible union of dance, music, and light fixtures. If you’re based in Nice, or able to make the trip over the weekend, this is the ultimate celebration of Mardi gras. 

Carnaval_de_nice_2024

Meanwhile, if you find yourself down the coast in Montpellier, don’t miss the chance to try ‘oreillette’, which you’ll find in most boulangeries and local restaurants. 

Valentine’s Day, 14th February 

The origins of Valentine’s Day are somewhat blurred, despite the global popularity of this celebration. There are various origin myths, the most famous of which recounts the story of St. Valentine, who secretly married couples to spare unwilling men from war. However Valentine’s day truly came to be, it has been celebrated all over the world since the Middle Ages, when it was formally established by the Church as a response to Lupercalia, the antecedent pagan celebration of love. 

In France, La Saint Valentin remains a popular tradition. Whether you are celebrating your love for a partner, friend, family member or yourself, it’s the perfect opportunity to visit Paris’ cultural landmarks. Watch the ballet at the Opera Garnier (tickets are available from 10 to 20 euros for students and early-birds); book a bateau-mouche for the sunset; visit la Saule Pleureur by Pont Neuf; walk through the Luxembourg Gardens.The architecture of Paris naturally lends itself to romance, so it won’t be hard to enjoy La Saint Valentin in the capital! 

Good Deals in February 2024

Mimosa Festival, 18th February (nice, Marseille) 

This flower-themed festival has been held since 1931 in Mandelieu-la-Napoule, a town two hours from Marseille. The mimosa flower, unmistakable for its bright yellow hue, covers this town as over 40 000 tourists flock to the South to celebrate its blossoming. The theme this year will be ‘Sport en Folie’ – sports extravaganza! If a banquet, fireworks, mulled wine, and beautiful flowers appeal to you, get the train from Nice or Marseille St Charles to Cannes, and from there, Mandelieu La Napoule is just 7 minutes away by train.

Festival_du_mimosa_2024

The Mimosa Festival is a considerable part of the town’s local economy, and every year the celebrations attract more visitors and development. The flowers bloom from mid-December until mid-March and have done so ever since they were brought over to France from Australia in the 19th century. Whether you manage to go this year, or mark it on your bucket list, it is well worth the journey for this vibrant celebration of spring – which we could all do with this February! 

Mille Et Une Orchidées, 7th February – 4th March (Paris)

This February the Grandes Serres of the Jardin de Plantes will host the 11th edition of the 1001 Orchids Festival in its greenhouses. As the name suggests, there will be precisely 1001 different specimens of orchids on display, alongside educational activities led by expert cultivators and enthusiasts. Admission is under 10€, with concessions available. The exhibition can be accessed at 57 rue Cuvier, 75005 Paris and the opening hours are from 10am to 5pm (6 pm from February 28), excluding Tuesdays. 

Fete Du Citron, 17th February – 3rd March (nice) 

Another springtime festival, easily accessible from Nice. Less than 40 minutes by train will take you to Menton, where the annual Lemon festival is held! Over this fortnight, the streets of Menton are filled with citrus parades, which are unsurprisingly Olympic themed this year. 

fete-du-citron-2024

In the early 20th century, Menton was the primary lemon-growing region in all of Europe. This led to the birth of the Lemon Festival in 1934 in an effort to boost tourism through this cheerful display of citrus fruit and flowers. Some of the themes over the past decade have been ‘Rock & Opera,’ ‘Broadway,’ ‘Hollywood,’ and ‘The Adventures of a Lemon in China’! 

Good Deals in February 2024

Expositions

Paris

One exhibition not to miss this month is La Régence à Paris. Before the 25th February, you can find artworks from the early 18th century at the Musée Carnavalet on Rue de Sévigné. Get a glimpse into Régence-era France, when the country was governed by prince regent Philippe d’Orléans, and art was characterised by Rococo. 
If your taste is more modern, head to the Centre Pompidou before the 26th to catch the last weeks of the ‘Chagall à l’oeuvre’ exhibition. The collection includes drawings, ceramics and sculptures by the Belarusian and French artist Marc Chagall. 
Alternatively, the Louis Vuitton Foundation is exhibiting the works of abstract painter Mark Rothko. 54 years on from his death, over 100 of Rothko’s works are now on display chronologically, from his earliest paintings to his most abstract creations. Find the exhibition at La Fondation Louis Vuitton, 8 avenue du Mahatma Ghandi. 

Lille

This month, the Palais des Beaux-Arts in Lille is focusing all attention on its female artists, with an exhibition appropriately titled ‘Où sont les femmes?’ This is an opportunity to appreciate the work of female artists who have not received their due recognition and to explore the relationship of art and gender in over a hundred drawings, paintings, and sculptures. 

Grenoble

Until the 3rd of March, ‘Une histoire d’images’ is on display at the Musée de Grenoble. Described as a ‘pêle-mêle’, or hodge-podge, these photographs from the past 80 years all have historical significance. If you are a photophile, make sure you catch this exhibition before the end of the month.