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French Bank Holidays

The French are well known for having more bank holidays than many other countries!  So how many do they actually have, what are they and how do bank holidays work in France…..?


French call bank holidays ‘fériés’ or ‘jours fériés’ and in France (unlike in the UK for example), the bank holiday is taken on the actual day it falls on, whatever day of the week that is.  Some are fixed like Easter Monday, but for example if Ascension Day falls on a Tuesday then the bank holiday is on the Tuesday itself.  If the bank holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday, the French often make a ‘bridge’ to the weekend which is called a ‘pont’.  French people ‘faire le pont’, for example taking off the Friday if the bank holiday is on a Thursday to make a long weekend.


Here is a list of the 11 French bank holidays


New Year’s Day (Jour de l’An): 1st January

Easter Monday (Lundi de Pâques)

Labour Day (Fête du Travail): 1st May

Victory Day (Victoire des Alliés): 8th May

Ascension (Ascension): 40 days after Easter

Whit Monday (Lundi de Pentecôte): 10 days after Ascension and 50 days after Easter

Bastille Day (Fête Nationale): 14th July

Assumption (Assomption) : 15th August

All Saints’ Day (Toussaint): 1st November

Armistice (Armistice): 11th November

Christmas Day (Noël): 25th December


This makes a total of 11 bank holidays.  But if the bank holiday falls on a Sunday, then the Sunday is considered the ‘férié’ so French people go to school and work as usual on the Monday.  This means that some years, French people get several opportunities to ‘faire le pont’ and make a long weekend out of bank holiday days.  However some years, several bank holidays fall on a Sunday and so this makes no difference to their working week!  The regions of Alsace and Moselle/Lorraine have 2 additional public holidays because of their previous affiliation to Germany.  They are now French regions but have kept these 2 German public holidays: Good Friday and Boxing Day (26th December).

Affordable private French lessons using tax credits

Alpine French School now offers ‘Services à la Personne’ which means that you can use tax credits to get 50% off your French lessons.  We are pleased to be able to offer affordable high quality French (& English) lessons for people living in the local area. There is no paperwork…

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Weekly French Courses this Autumn including our popular Citizenship course Autumn 2021

We’re pleased to share with you our autumn calendar for our French group courses. If you’re keen to work on your French in a group environment, here are the details of our upcoming group courses over the 3 months.   AUTUMN WEEKLY COURSES 13th September – 10th December 2021  …

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  • August 9th, 2021

Pass Sanitaire

As you will be aware, France has put into place a Pass Sanitaire to try and limit the spread of Covid. As a business that is open to the public, the law states that all of our staff and all our clients must show a Pass Sanitaire every time they…

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Focus your brain for learning with our free meditation sessions

New from December 2021, Alpine French School is offering a little extra to help students. Meditation is renowned nowadays for many things: Reducing stress Increasing focus and concentration Increasing creativity Helping to balance emotions Reducing pain or perception of pain Reducing anxiety and improving self-esteem Reducing depression Increasing memory Some…

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All courses available either in person or via Skype or Telephone.  Please contact us for more information

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