Holidays

Jours fériés - French public holidays
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Jours fériés et non fériés

There are a lot of holidays in France, but only the 11 in bold below are public holidays (bank holidays), called jours fériés in French. On jours fériés, also known as jours chômés, fêtes chômées, and fêtes légales, public servants and many public sector employees typically have the day off from work, as do some private employees.

In addition, when the jour férié is on a Tuesday or Thursday, the French tend to faire le pont and take off from work the Monday or Friday in between the weekend and the jour férié. This results in several 4-day weekends over the course of the year.

These holidays are listed more or less in the order they occur during the year, but remember that the dates vary for some holidays.

Jour de l’An New Year’s Day 1 January férié
Épiphanie Epiphany 6 January non férié
Chandeleur Candlemas / Crêpe Day 2 February non férié
Saint-Valentin Valentine’s Day 14 Feburary non férié
Mardi gras Mardi Gras varies non férié
Fête des Grands-mères Grandmother’s Day varies non férié
Lundi de Pâques Easter Monday varies férié
Fête du Travail
Fête du Muguet
Labor Day
Lily of the Valley Day
1 May férie
8 mai 1945 V-E Day 8 May férié
Fête des Mères Mother’s Day varies non férié
Jeudi de l’Ascension Ascension Thursday varies férié
Lundi de Pentecôte Pentecost varies férié
Fête des Pères Father’s Day varies non férié
Fête de la Musique Music Festival 21 June non férié
Fête Nationale Bastille Day 14 July férié
Assomption de Marie Assumption of Mary 15 August férié
La Rentrée Back to school / life 1 September *
Fête des Grands-pères Grandfather’s Day varies non férié
Halloween Halloween 31 October non férié
La Toussaint All Saints’ Day 1 November férié
Fête des morts All Souls’ Day 2 November non férié
Armistice de 1918 Armistice with Germany 11 November férié
Hanoucca Hanukkah varies non férié
Noël Christmas 25 December férié
La Saint-Sylvestre New Year’s Eve 31 December non férié

* La Rentrée isn’t really a holiday at all – in fact, it’s just the opposite: it marks the official end to summer vacation and the return to school, work, and community activities. It’s a hugely important day / period in French society.

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