Want to live a 100% Breton experience? Then choose a Fest-Noz! Fest-Noz means “night party” and if you’re talking about day-time fun then you’ll have to call it a “Fest-Deiz”.
These dances bring together both fans of and those deeply passionate about traditional Breton dance. All generations gather together and dance to the sounds of instruments and voices, to songs and music which have withstood the test of time.
So what’s a Fest-Noz like, then?
If you like dancing and listening to music in a friendly atmosphere then the Fest-Noz is made for you (or you for the Fest-Noz !
Don’t feel intimidated by the dancers on the floor, it will only take you a few minutes to watch and pick up the steps. It’s not rocket science! Are you ready ? Then off you go! Start with a circle or link arms. With a little practice you will soon be able to move on to more difficult dances, like kost ar c’hoat.
Joining in at a Fest-Noz is a good way of getting to know people. More experienced dancers will only be too happy to teach you. And yes, that’s also part of the atmosphere of Fest-Noz : sharing, exchanging and passing on your knowledge.
Destination Heart of Brittany – Kalon Breizh, in Breton – is the cradle of the Fest Noz. Re-invented in the village of Poullaouën in 1954, the interest in Fest-Noz rapidly spread across the whole of Brittany, from the countryside to the towns until it has become one of the most well-known and defining symbols of Breton identity.
Its fame has brought the Fest-Noz worldwide recognition and led to it being registered as part of Human Cultural Heritage by UNESCO, which emphasises the creativity and sensitivity of popular traditions.