Public holidays in France 2017The 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:

2017
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
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