Saturday, September 18, 2021

Festivals & Holidays in France

EuropeFranceFestivals & Holidays in France

Holidays in France

French public holidays are based on the major Catholic holidays, with the exception of Good Friday, which is only celebrated in the prefecture of Alsace. Although most of them are movable, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary always falls on 15 August, All Saints’ Day on 1 November and Christmas on 25 December. Other public holidays include New Year’s Day (1 January), 1 May, Victory Day (8 May), Bastille Day (14 July) and Armistice Day (11 November).

It is advisable to plan your trip, especially during the French school holidays, which usually run from late October to early November, at Christmas, Easter, between 1 May and Victory Day, and in summer. Unlike its big neighbour to the east, France has a single date for the whole country when holidays begin and end. Naturally, on and around this date, the streets fill up and train and air fares skyrocket. If you can avoid travelling during these times, do so.

DateEnglish nameLocal nameComments
1 JanuaryNew Year’s DayNew Year / New Year’s Day / New Year’s Eve / New Year’s Day
mobileGood FridayGood FridayFriday before Easter Sunday (observed only in Alsace and on the Moselle).
mobileEaster MondayEaster MondayMonday after Easter Sunday (one day after Easter Sunday)
1 May1 May/Labour DayLabour Day / Workers’ Day
8 MayVictory Day in EuropeVictory DayEnd of hostilities in Europe
mobileAscension DayAscensionThursday, 39 days after Easter
mobileWhit MondayWhit MondayMonday after Pentecost (50 days after Easter), observed only in some companies, see
14 JulyBastille DayNational DayFrench National Day, commemoration
15 AugustMary’s Assumption into HeavenAcceptance
1 NovemberAll Saints’ DayToussaint
11 NovemberThe day of the ceasefireArmistice of 1918End of the First World War
25 DecemberChristmas DayChristmas
Boxing DaySaint Stephen’s DaySaint-ÉtienneOnly observed in Alsace and on the Moselle