It is well known that the inhabitants of the South-West have a sense of celebration. And ferias are an integral part of the Landais' way of life. For several days, the festayres (festival-goers) tie their red or blue scarves around their necks, ready to party all day until late at night. If the most famous ferias remain those of Dax and Mont-de-Marsan, other more modest and local festivals are also worth a visit.
The most famous férias in the Landes
The Feria de Dax (around 15th August): this is the biggest Feria in the Landes, with almost a million visitors over 5 days! It is also one of the most colourful and convivial ferias in France and even in Spain. More info: www.daxlaferia.fr
Les Fêtes de la Madeleine in Mont-de-Marsan (third weekend in July): the first big feria of the summer in homage to the town's patron saint. On the programme: 4 days of festivities throughout the town in red and white. More info: regiefetes.montdemarsan.fr
The Saint-Vincent-de-Tyrosse festival (third weekend in July): this is the third largest feria in the Landes in terms of attendance. A large popular and festive gathering during which several thousand people flock to the streets of the Landes town.
The (smaller) ferias that deserve the honours
Ferias are not just for big cities. There are also ferias in (almost) every small village in the Landes. There are also Landes races, novilladas and other bullfighting shows in the arenas and in the streets, in the purest tradition of the festivals of the South West.
Here are some dates to note in your diaries during your stay in the Landes:
- Parentis-en-Born: first weekend in August
- Pontenx-les-Forges: first weekend in September
- Saint-Paul-en-Born: last weekend in May
- Aureilhan : first weekend of August
- Mimizan : last weekend of August
- Bias: mid-July
- Mézos: third Sunday in July
- Soustons: first weekend in August
- Aire-sur-l'Adour: mid-June
- Saint-Sever (Fêtes de la Saint-Jean): third weekend in June
- Hagetmau (Feria du Novillo) : first weekend of August
Highlights of a féria and a little lexicon of the festayre
The Landes race: this typically Gascon and spectacular game consists in braving the charge of a galloping cow or jumping over it while avoiding the horn! A bullfighting spectacle without killing the animal.
Novillada: bullfighting between young bulls (novillos) and young bullfighters.
Encierro (running of the bulls): this race consists of running through the streets in front of the cattle, on a secure and closed course from the corrals to the bullring.
Toro del fuego (Spanish for "bull of fire"): a parody of the bullfight with musical fireworks and pyrotechnic shows.
Bodegas: open-air or cellar bars with festive music.
Bandas: musical groups that liven up the streets during ferias and village festivals.
Flowered corsos: parades of decorated floats, accompanied by bandas or traditional music.
Spotlight on the "Landes Émotions" show at Mimizan Plage
During your camping holiday in the Landes, don't miss the "Landes Émotions" show, which takes place every summer in the Courant arena at Mimizan-Plage. The event brings together more than 100 artists and 40 animals for two hours of cultural and festive entertainment 100% Landes, in the beautiful arenas of the South West (Mimizan, but also Vieux-Boucau, Soustons and Tyrosse). More info:
Did you know?
During the ferias, the tradition is that the participants dress in white and red, the universal colours of the South-West festivals. Except in Soustons and Mont-de-Marsan, where blue