18 September 22 September 2024

Le Puy-en-Velay

The town of Puy-en-Velay plunges back into the Renaissance every year in September with the Renaissance Festivals of the King of the Bird. Through a popular festival of high cultural significance, the city takes the pretext of an ancient and authentic archery competition to immerse itself in its glorious past. See you from September 18 to 22, 2024.

4 days in Renaissance

Every 3e September weekend, Street shows, markets and activities punctuate the heart of Puy-en-Velay with the reconstruction of daily life in the 16th century in Velay. Canvas camps, struggles to the sound of cannon, mercenaries out of pay, itinerant artisans, period cuisine, pilgrims leaving for Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle make up a real living setting!

There are many visitors and locals in period costumes who experience the adventure of the Renaissance Festival as a life-size History lesson!

Who is the Bird King?

Archery practice was very widespread in the 16e century and the archer's competition consisted of shooting down the papagaï (parrot in old French). The winner of this archery competition, which took place on Pentecost Monday, therefore received the title of King of the bird for a period of one year. History also says that he was given the keys to the city. Since 1986, Le Puy-en-Velay has revived this tradition and used this ancient archery competition as an excuse to recreate the Renaissance Festivities of the Bird King.

Numerous shows and activities

During the Renaissance Festivals, it is the entire town of Puy-en-Velay which vibrates to the rhythm of music, street shows, taverns and inns. The Henri Vinay garden is transformed into a large Renaissance market where local crafts, such as blacksmithing and leather goods, take their place.


Hypocras and mead are enjoyed in moderation in the taverns of the Bird King. We enjoy period cuisine over a wood fire and discover camp life in an atmosphere that exudes the 16th century.

We attend shows in the great Breuil lists with pyrotechnics, fire shows, falconry demonstrations. Shows of ancient struggles, armed reenactments and even equestrian games are offered. The Henri Vinay garden is also the scene of large Renaissance balls on Friday and Saturday evenings hosted in turn by music groups and a dance master!

Stan AZT

The great archery competition

The grand finale of course remains the grand competition of Bird shot which takes place on Saturday evening in front of a very large audience!

The closing parade of the Renaissance Festival

Sunday afternoon marks the end of this colorful Renaissance festival. At the head of the procession, the King of the Bird, proclaimed the day before in the great archery competition, opens the parade, followed by a crowd of costumed people including the city's elected officials but also the different camps and troops. of the Bird King. The parade walks the streets of the city departing from Puy-en-Velay Cathedral to the sound of arquebuses!

Where to stay during the Bird King celebrations?

The public comes in large numbers to the Renaissance Festivals of the King of the Bird and the accommodation in the region is quickly taken by storm. We advise you to anticipate your arrival in order to find the accommodation that suits you to fully enjoy the event.


When do the Bird King festivals take place?

The Renaissance Festivals of the King of the Bird take place every year in Puy-en-Velay, on 3e weekend in September.

What is the origin of the Bird King festivals?

It was in 1524 that the “Bird Game” appeared for the first time in Puy-en-Velay. The bird shooting took place every year on Pentecost Monday. According to custom, participants had to try to kill a rag bird called the papagai. The winner was then proclaimed King of the Bird.

Where can I find the Renaissance Festival program?

To ensure you don't miss any of the activities during the King of the Bird celebrations, the detailed program of the festivities as well as the souvenir medal are on sale online here.

Was this content useful to you?