This week in France across many town and villages, the Fête du Pain (Bread Festival) is being celebrated. Yes, that’s correct, entire festivals to celebrate bread.
The festivals celebrate the expertise of artisan bakers. In France, not all bread makers can call themselves boulangers (bakers). A “boulangerie” must select its flour, knead its own dough and bake its loaves on premises to claim the title “Boulangerie”.
If you have been fortunate enough to visit France and enjoy a fresh baguette from the local boulangerie, then you will totally understand! In our brief time living in France, whether we were in Paris, the quaint villages of the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region, or Les Arcs-sur-Argens, the visit to the local boulangerie was a daily event for our family.
Fête du Pain - Paris
Returning for the first time since 2019, the Fête du Pain is held in the square in front of the Notre Dame Cathedral between 14th - 22nd May. The event has been held (usually annually) since 1996, coinciding with the 16th May, the Patron Saint Day of Saint-Honoré, who is the saint of flour sellers, millers, bakers and pastry makers.
Located in the 4th Arrondissement, in the heart of the Île de la Cité, Notre Dame Cathedral hosts the Fête du Pain in a large temporary boulangerie, where people can watch demonstrations of artisans making the traditional breads as well as sample the scrumptious pain.
The entire festival concludes with the announcement of the Grand Prix de la baguette de tradition Française de la ville de Paris (Grand Prize of the Parisian Baguette).
To participate, the Boulangers need to (within 6 hours):
Make 20 traditional French baguettes (wands) (in the first round and 40 in the final), in front of the public on site at the Notre Dame temporary boulangerie.
Baguettes must be 50cm long and weigh 250g after being baked.