Public Holidays

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French Public Holidays

A calendar of the national vacation days when businesses, schools and banks may close and most people get the day off in France...

The French for: bank holiday/public holiday/legal holiday is un jour férié.

  • French organisations and businesses close on public holidays.
  • Although some shopping centres and grocers open for part of the day, the majority of shops do not.
  • Police stations and hospitals do not close.
  • When a public holiday falls on a Thursday or Tuesday, it is common practice to "make the bridge" (faire le pont) by taking off the Friday or Monday so creating a very long weekend. When this happens you may find businesses running on short staff or smaller family run business closed for the full period.

Public Holidays 2016

  • 1st January - New Year's Day
  • 25th March - Good Friday (Alsace and Moselle only)
  • 28th March - Easter Monday
  • 1st May - Labour Day
  • 5th May - Ascension Day
  • 8th May - Victory Day
  • 16th May - Whit Monday
  • 14th July - National Day
  • 15th August - Assumption Day
  • 1st November - All Saints' Day
  • 11th November - Armistice Day
  • 25th December - Christmas Day
  • 26th December - Saint Stephen's Day (Alsace and Moselle only)

Further Information

The Ministère du Travail has information on the law as it affects employment and national public holidays

Dates of French school holidays can be found from the Department of Education