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.
Public holidays are usually taken on the day on which they fall. However, if a public 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.
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 you may find it difficult to find a supermarket, pharmacy or baker open on such a day.
French public holidays:
|Jan 1||New Year’s Day (Jour de l’An)||Sunday|
|Apr 17||Easter Monday (Lundi de Pâques)||Monday|
|May 1||Labour Day (Fête du Travail)||Monday|
|May 8||VE Day (Fête de la Libération)||Monday|
|May 25||Ascension Day (Ascension)||Thursday|
|June 5||Pentecost (Pentecôte)||Monday|
|Jul 14||Bastille Day (Fête Nationale)||Friday|
|Aug 15||Assumption (Assomption)||Tuesday|
|Nov 1||All Saint’s Day (Toussaint)||Wednesday|
|Nov 11||Armistice Day (Fête de l’Armistice)||Saturday|
|Dec 25||Christmas Day (Noël)||Monday|