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:
|New Year’s Day (Jour de l’An)
|Easter Monday (Lundi de Pâques)
|Labour Day (Fête du Travail)
|VE Day (Fête de la Libération)
|Ascension Day (Ascension)
|Bastille Day (Fête Nationale)
|All Saint’s Day (Toussaint)
|Armistice Day (Fête de l’Armistice)
|Christmas Day (Noël)
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