French Public Holidays
Created | Updated Feb 9, 2008
... or when Not to Go Shopping
The French have between 11 and 15 public holidays in total (depending on whether you count Sundays and whereabouts in France you happen to be). The main difference between British and French public holidays is that while most of the British holidays are pushed around each year to fall on a Friday or Monday, most French holidays are on fixed dates.
Another point to bear in mind is that if a public holiday falls on a Sunday, as far as you are concerned, it is ignored. (There are some strange labour laws involved here, but nothing that need concern a visitor to the country.) All this means is that when a holiday falls on a Thursday or Tuesday, 80% of the working French take the extra day off work to have a long weekend.
Beware, public holidays in France are adhered to fairly strictly, and so you may find it difficult to find a supermarket, chemist or baker's open on such a day.
|1 January||New Year's Day|
|Changes Annually||Good Friday||This is a Holiday in certain regions only (Departments 57,67,681)|
|Changes Annually||Easter Sunday|
|Changes Annually||Easter Monday|
|1 May||Fête du Travail - Workers' Day|
|8 May||VE Day|
|Changes Annually||Ascension Day||Sixth Thursday after Easter|
|Changes Annually||Pentecost||Seventh Sunday after Easter. Not really a holiday; however, the Monday after is.|
|Monday of Pentecost||Pentecost|
|14 July||Bastille Day|
|1 November||All Saints' Day|
|11 November||Armistice Day|
|25 December||Christmas Day|
|26 December||Boxing Day||This is a Holiday in certain regions only (Departments 57,67,68)|