The Joan of Arc Festival, the second Sunday of May

On the 8th of May, 1429, guided by divine voices, Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc in French) led the French army and liberated the city of Orleans from the English conquers during the Hundred Years’ War. In her act of heroism, the 17 years old Maid of Orleans became a symbol of leadership, determination, and fearlessness. Only two years later, on May 30th, 1431, she became a martyr when she was captured and burned at the stake, only 19 years old. Even hundreds of years later, she is still one of the most famous French women and a global icon.


An illustration from a 1504 manuscript. Photo credit – Wikipedia.

Celebrated annually for more than 600 years, the Joan of Arc Festival is an official holiday in France, commemorating the national heroine and saint. It takes place on the second Sunday in May, but some cities hold the festivities on various dates around May-June.

The festival usually includes a medieval market and other activities from the 15th century, such as traditional costume parades, plays, music, juggling, and dancing. You can also enjoy a falconry display and medieval craftmanship, including stone-cutting and wool-spinning workshops.



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