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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).

French Traditions and Stereotypes

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French Easter Traditions

Easter is one of the main religious celebrations in France after Christmas.  Easter marks the resurrection of Christ and the end of the 40 days of lent so this is an important Christian religious festival. In France, Easter Monday is a public holiday.  Easter is called ‘Pâques’ with a capital…

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French Lessons paid for by the French government

If you have been put on furlough (chômage/activité partielle), then the French government are offering to finance your French lessons.  Most sectors including mountain and tourism businesses have their training fees paid 100%. What about Business Owners and Auto-Entrepreneurs? Business owners and auto-entrepreneurs can also quality for training budgets to…

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  • February 5th, 2021

French Traditions: Mardi Gras

Are you ready to get dressed up or eat pancakes?  Lots of French people and people around the world celebrate Mardi Gras. But how did the name come about and what are the origins of and traditions around Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras was originally a religious festival.  It takes place…

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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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