Monday, November 19, 2012

Public Holidays in France

The main difference between British/American and French public holidays is that while most of the British/American holidays are pushed around each year to fall on a Friday or Monday, most French holidays are on fixed dates.

Bank holidays are usually taken on the day on which they fall. However, if a bank holiday is on a Sunday, the Monday afterwards will often be considered a work-free day, instead so it's worth checking if you're making a special trip.  It takes a bit of getting used to and they can catch you unawares especially when they fall in the middle of the week in May (because there are four!)

When a holiday falls on a Thursday or Tuesday, a large percentage of the working French take the extra day off work to have a long weekend. This is referred to in French as faire le pont (literally 'make the bridge' from the week day to the weekend).

Be warned however - holidays in France are adhered to strictly, which means in certain places you may find it difficult to find a supermarket, pharmacy or baker open on such a day.

French public holidays:

Dec 25   Christmas Day (Noël)     Tuesday

Jan 1      New Year's Day (Jour de l’An)                    Tuesday
Apr 1     Easter Monday (Lundi de Pâques)              Monday
May 1    Labour Day (Fête du Travail)                       Wednesday
May 8    VE Day (Fête de la Libération)                    Wednesday
May 9    Ascension Day (Ascension)                         Thursday
May 19 Pentecost (Pentecôte)                                   Sunday
Jul 14     Bastille Day (Fête Nationale)                       Sunday
Aug 15  Assumption (Assomption)                            Thursday
Nov 1    All Saint's Day (Toussaint)                             Friday
Nov 11  Armistice Day (Fête de l’Armistice)               Monday
Dec 25   Christmas Day (Noël)                                  Wednesday

Always best to be prepared!!!

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