Holidays in France

Public Holidays

Lake in France

There are eleven national holidays or jours feriés in France. On these days government departments, banks, shops, and some museums are closed. In Paris, major museums and monuments generally close on Christmas Day and New Year's Day, but many attractions and restaurants close entirely or close early on other holidays as well.
Labour Day (May 1st) is a public holiday by statute. The rest of the holidays are granted by convention collective (employers' and employees' unions) or by the employer. Note that tourist sites as well as the roads and train services are busier during these periods. It is advisable to pay attention to news of workers on strike in the travel and transportation industry during this time as well.
Under current French law, every citizen is entitled to five weeks of vacation annually. Most French residents take their summer vacations in July or August and many major businesses are closed during that time.

French Holiday Calendar

Date

Friday 01 January
Sunday 27 March
Monday 28 March
Sunday 01 May
Sunday 08 May
Thursday 05 May
Sunday 15 May
Monday 16 May
Thursday 14 July
Monday 15 August

Tuesday 01 November
Friday 11 November
Sunday 25 December

English

New Year's Day
Easter
Easter Monday
Labour (May) Day
VE Day (Victory in Europe)
Ascension Day
Pentecost
Whit Monday
Bastille Day
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
All Saints Day
Veterans-Remembrance Day
Christmas

French

Jour de l'An
Pâques
Lundi de Pâques
Fête du Travail
Victoire 1945
Ascension
Pentecôte
Lundi de Pentecôte
Fête Nationale
Assomption
Toussaint
Armistice 1918
Noël

Other

-
Sunday, date varies
Monday after Easter
-
End of WWII
Thursday-40 days after Easter
Seventh Sunday after Easter
Monday after Pentecost
National Day
-
-
End of WWI
-

Holiday Descriptions

* Bastille Day, the French national holiday, commemorates the storming of the Bastille, which took place on July 14, 1789 and marked the beginning of the French Revolution. The Bastille was a prison and a symbol of the absolute and arbitrary power of Louis XVI's Ancient Regime. By capturing this symbol, the people signaled that the king's power was no longer absolute and that power should be based on the Nation and be limited by a separation of powers. Although the Bastille only held seven prisoners at the time of its capture, the storming of the prison was a symbol of liberty and the fight against oppression for all French citizens. Like the French tricolored flag, it symbolized the Republic's three ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity for all French citizens. It marked the end of absolute monarchy and the birth of the sovereign nation and eventually, the creation of the (First) Republic in 1792 symbolizing the beginning of a new form of government.

* Armistice day is the anniversary of the symbolic end of World War I on November 11, 1918. It commemorates the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning - the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month."