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French Public Holidays / Bank Holidays in France

A complete list of Public Holidays in France (Bank Holidays)

Fixed dates for nearly all Public Holidays in France

With the exception of those associated with Easter, Public Holidays in France are fixed. In other words, Public Holidays do not move to attach themselves to the nearest weekend as in the UK. And no time off in lieu is granted when a Public Holiday falls on a Saturday or Sunday, as it is in the UK.

Fixed Public Holidays in France

The following are held on the same day each year:

New Year's Day - 1st January each year
Labour Day - 1st May each year
VE Day - 8th May each year
Bastille Day - 14th July each year
Assumption Day - 15th August each year
All Saints Day - 1st November each year
Armistice Day - 11th November each year
Christmas Day - 25th December each year
Boxing Day (only in the Moselle, the Bas-Rhin and the Haut-Rhin) - 26th December each year

Changeable Public Holidays in France

The following are held on different days each year:

Good Friday (only in the Moselle, the Bas-Rhin and the Haut-Rhin) -
6 Apr 2012
29 Mar 2013
18 Apr 2014
3 Apr 2015
25 Mar 2016

Easter Sunday -
8 Apr 2012
31 Mar 2013
20 Apr 2014
5 Apr 2015
27 Mar 2016

Easter Monday -
9 Apr 2012
1 Apr 2013
21 Apr 2014
6 Apr 2015
28 Mar 2016

Ascension Day (40 days after Easter Sunday, always on a Thursday) -
17 May 2012
9 May 2013
29 May 2014
14 May 2015
5 May 2016

Pentacost/Whit Sunday (7th Sunday after Easter) -
27 May 2012
19 May 2013
8 Jun 2014
24 May 2015
15 May 2016

Monday following Pentacost/Whit Monday
28 May 2012
20 May 2013
9 Jun 2014
25 May 2015
16 May 2016

A possible reduction in the number of French Public Holidays...

The French government wants to reduce the number of Public Holidays from 11 (13 in certain the Moselle, the Bas-Rhin and the Haut-Rhin) to 10 (12). Please note that these figures exclude those Public Holidays which always fall on a Sunday (ie; Easter Sunday and Whit Sunday).

A time for businesses to shut-down

Most offices, businesses and shops in France will close for a Public Holiday although the smaller supermarkets in many towns will open for a couple of hours in the morning (except for on Christmas day). Bakers will operate a limited morning service as they do on Sundays. Restaurants can be relied upon to respond to the market demand so opening will depend upon place and season. Book well in advance for Christmas day though.

"Faire le pont"

When a Public Holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday, it is very common to take the Friday or Monday off to create a long weekend ("faire le pont"). Many businesses, especially the smaller ones are therefore closed for the entire period, including many estate agencies.

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