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No matter what time of year, Paris is full of culturally rich and entertaining celebrations and special events. Next time you visit, try to check out one of these affairs for a unique Parisian experience.
St. Patricks Day in Paris is celebrated as in the rest of the world, by drinking green beer in Irish pubs. The major difference is that when you're done having your Irish experience and step outside the bar, you're in lovely Paris. Noteworthy Parisian Irish pubs include Le Hide Out and the Guiness Tavern near Les Halles and The Green Linnet near Parc de la Tour Jacques.
Nuit des Musees, or museums at night, celebrates museum preservation with special nighttime programs all over the European continent. Some museums and heritage sites offer late night touring options, live performances, and special guest speakers. Others offer themed sleepover nights. Paris' version of Nuit des Musees is especially popular and enriching due to the high concentration of art works at the Louvre and Musee d'Orsay.
On June 21, the summer solstice, Fete de la Musique takes over the streets, parks, and other public spaces in Paris. This World Music Day is absolutely free with musicians from every genre and level of expertise donating their time. Fete de la Musique is coordinated with over 100 cities across the globe, giving a chance to connect people and music and celebrate culture.
The Paris Jazz Festival offers a sensual experience at Parc Floral de Paris. The festival, which takes place over several weekends in June and July, combines maturing botanical gardens with a large variety of jazz ensembles, making for sensual days and evenings in the park. Musicians and jazz fan flock to Paris during the summer to be a part of the celebration.
Some of the events at the Paris Autumn Festival actually begin in mid-September, while some extend through the end of December. Festival de l'Automne showcases the arts in all forms. Special art exhibits can be seen at the Musee d'Orsay and the Louvre. The performing arts are en force all over Paris during the autumn, including dramatic theater performances, both classical and modern dance, live music concerts, and art house films.
During October and November, the Paris Banlieues Tango celebrates the culture surrounding the tango. The dance may have originated in Argentina, but it found a home in Paris. The celebration takes place all over Paris, and not just in the Banlieues (suburbs). Events include dance workshops at the Universitat Sorbonne, performances at Auditorium St. Germain, concerts at the Salon Honorrat and Le Triton, and expos at Espace Tango Negro and Librarie Belle Lurette. Films, dance lessons, and tastings are available also throughout the city.
If curling up with a good book is a favorite winter pastime and in February, then check out the Antique Books Fair when it hits Paris at Halle Freyssinet on the left bank . The book exhibit spills over into the surrounding streets across from Parc de Bercy, as book collectors and sellers from around the world in Paris to show off their wares and connect with other bibliophiles.
The spirit of circus is alive and well in Paris. The Circus of Tomorrow Fair takes place in January at Cirque Phenix at Jardin du Reuilly. This is the big show for circus performers, where they meet and compete for the world's attention.
France borrows from a German tradition with its Christmas Markets during the month of December. Markets can be found all over Paris, including within the Trocadero near the Eiffel Tower, and a major site at the Champs-Elysees. Besides Christmas trinkets, street vendors offer traditional German food and drink.