Public Holidays in France
There are 11 official French public holidays.
They include 3 National Days or Fêtes Nationales (May 8, July 14 and November 11) , one international day (Labour Day on May 1st), the others are religious celebrations.
Some public holidays are observed at fixed dates, the others (based on the lunar calendar) are celebrated at a movable date.
Be aware that on public holidays post offices and banks.
So are some restaurants and cafes and most businesses and stores (unless located in a tourist area).
Airlines operate and most public transport services (bus, underground and trains) run.
However, they may have different or reduced schedules, so it is advised to check prior to traveling.Check the French School Holidays by zone
Fixed Public Holidays
- January 1 – Jour du Nouvel An is the first day of the calendar year
- May 1 – 1er Mai – Labour Day became a statutory French public holiday on April 24, 1941.
- May 8 – 8 Mai – Victoire 1945 – V-E Day is a National Day that marks the capitulation of Nazi Germany in 1945.
- July 14 – Bastille Day – Fête Nationale commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789.
- August 15 – Assumption – Assomption is a religious celebration that marks the Assumption of the Virgin Mary to Heaven.
- November 1 – All Saints – Toussaint
- November 11 – Armistice 1918 – Armistice Day is a National Day.
- December 25 – Noël – Christmas is one of the most important French religious celebrations.
- N.B. December 26 – St Etienne – St Stephen’s Day is a religious celebration observed only in Alsace and Lorraine; St Stephen’s Day is not a public holiday in other parts of France.
Movable Public Holidays Dates
- Vendredi Saint – Good Friday 15 April 2022 – 7 April 2023
Good Friday is the Friday before Easter; it is not a public holiday in France the celebration is observed only in Alsace and Lorraine.
- Pâques – Easter Sunday 17 April 2022 – 9 April 2023
Easter is one of the most important Christian celebrations as it commemorates the Resurrection of Christ; it is always celebrated on a Sunday between March 22 and April 25.
- Lundi de Pâques – Easter Monday 18 April 2022 – 10 April 2023
It is a religious feast that was celebrated over the entire week until the French Revolution when it was limited to the Monday following Easter Sunday.
- Ascension – Ascension Thursday 26 May 2022 – 18 May 2023
It is a religious celebration that takes place of the Thursday 40 days after Easter.
It commemorates the Ascension of Jesus to Heaven following His crucifixion and resurrection.
- Pentecôte – Pentecost Sunday 5 June 2022 – 28 May 2023
It is a religious celebration that takes place 50 days after Easter Sunday and commemorates the coming of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus’ Apostles.
- Lundi de Pentecôte – Whit Monday 6 June 2022 – 29 May 2023
It is the Monday following Pentecost Sunday.
Special and Liturgical Celebrations that are not public holidays
- January 6 – Epiphanie -Epiphany is celebrated on the 12th day after Christmas; it commemorates the journey of the Wise Men who went to present Newborn Jesus with presents.
- February 2 – Chandeleur – Candlemas is a liturgical feast that celebrates the anniversary of the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple.
It is celebrated 40 days after Christmas.
- February 14 – Saint-Valentin – Valentine’s Day is widely observed in France as it celebrates Love!
- Mercredi des Cendres – Ash Wednesday 2 March 2022 – 22 February 2023
This a movable celebration is the first day of Lent, the season of preparation for the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Easter Sunday
- Mardi Gras – Fat/Shrove Tuesday 1 March 2022 – 21 February 2023
It is a lunar celebration, but it always occurs on the Tuesday preceding Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent.
- Dimanche des Rameaux – Palm Sunday 10 April 2022 – 2 April 2023 is the last Sunday and the start of the Holy Week.
- Jeudi Saint – Holy Thursday 14 April 2022 – 6 April 2023 is the celebration of Jesus’ Last Supper.
- Fête des Mères – Mother’s Day 29 May 2022 – 4 June 2023
On May 24, 1950 Mother’s Day was officially decreed by law and fixed to the last Sunday in May.
- Fête des Pères – Father’s Day 29 June 2022 – 18 June 2023
Father’s Day became official in 1952, two years after Mother’s Day; It has never been formalized, even if it is celebrated each year on the third Sunday in June.