Here are a few of the local events that typify life in this region of the Haute-Loire.
- Les Pénitents de Saugues: the “procession of the penitents” takes place in Saugues on Maundy Thursday.
- Les Médiévales du Malzieu: The small medieval town of Le Malzieu, 20km away, is again going to take a trip back to the XIII century, for two and a half days of festivities!! Street performances (music, dances, humour…), parades, medieval encampments, historical reconstitutions, demonstrations of bygone crafts, children’s activities, fire-eating show…
- Le grand Trail du St Jacques: this major trail-running event offers 6 routes, from 17 to 100 km, following – in the opposite direction to that usually taken – the fabled GR65 (Way of St James), which is classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and attracts more than 40,000 pilgrims annually. The hilly route takes in the Margeride plateau and Seuge and Allier valleys, and finishes in Le Puy-en-Velay…
- Fête de la Madeleine à Saugues: this festival gives you the opportunity to discover the crafts and skills of bygone days.
- La Belle Journée à Langeac: for two days, the town of Langeac steps back to the 18th century and bears the colours of the Marquis General de Lafayette as he returns, as a victorious hero, to his home town.
- Les Nuits de Saint-Jacques in Le Puy-En-Velay: this music festival attracts major names, with 2016 including French stars Alain Souchon and Laurent Voulzy.
- Festival Celte en Gévaudan: every year, in early August, this Celtic festival in Saugues enables you to experience the magic of Celtic music and its enchanting dancers, its wonderful singing, and the astonishing sound of the traditional bagpipes.
A feast of musical and cultural entertainment, plus walks, make up a programme that is fun, welcoming and family-friendly. Those topping the festival bill in past years include renowned performers such as Alan Stivell, Nolwenn Leroy, Celtic Legends, Manau, and Sharon Corr….
- Fêtes Renaissance du Roi de l’Oiseau: every third weekend in September, the town of Le Puy-en-Velay (Haute-Loire) dons its Renaissance garb for the Festival of the Bird King. A historic and authentic archery contest has been revived and the whole town takes the opportunity to relive its glorious past.
For four days, street performances and reconstitutions of daily life in the Velay during the XVI century take over the town. Tented encampments, strolling pedlars and craftsmen, authentic period cookery, pilgrims heading for the Way of St James, processions in historic costume, street theatre, performers and musicians, historic markets fill the streets and bring history to life in spectacular style.