Dates of the public holidays in France
France has 14 Public Holidays (referred to as Bank Holidays in the UK) during the year. Note that Whit Monday was abolished from 2005, in principle to raise extra funds for elderly and handicapped type causes, motivated by the thousands of elderly people who died during the earlier heatwave. This caused widespread strikes in the country.
|Date||English name||Local name||Remarks|
|1 January||New Year's Day||Jour de l'An|
|6 January||Epiphany||Fête des Rois||Not a public holiday|
|2 February||Candlemas||La Chandeleur||Not a public holiday|
|moveable||Easter||Pâques||Sunday, date varies|
|moveable||Easter Monday||Monday after Easter|
|1 May||Labour Day||Fête du Travail|
|8 May||V-E Day||Victoire 1945||End of WWII|
|varies||Ascension Day||Ascension||Thursday, 40 days after Easter|
|varies||Pentecost||Pentecôte||Seventh Sunday after Easter1|
|14 July||Bastille Day||Fête Nationale||National Day|
|15 August||Assumption of Mary||Assomption|
|1 November||All Saints Day||Toussaint|
|11 November||Veterans Day
|Armistice 1918||End of WWI|
|25 December||Christmas Day||Noël|
There is no Boxing Day or Thanksgiving holiday in France.
Bastille day is a very important day with many towns, villages and monuments holding Bastille day fireworks displays and other events. If you are in France at this time look out for signs indicating either "feux d'artifice" or an "embrasement".
It is interesting to note that in France when a bank holiday falls on the weekend workers do not get an extra day off instead - so if Christmas day is a Sunday for example, the Monday is still a normal work day, not a 'public holiday carried forward'.
When a public holiday falls on a Thursday in France it is very common for employees to take the Friday off work (as part of annual leave allowances) - this is called 'making a bridge' ('faire le pont') in France.