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Holidays in the Languedoc:   French National Public Holidays:

The French enjoy 11 national jours feriés (holidays) annually. Days are not given in lieu when a national holiday happens to fall on a weekend, but workers tend to faire le pont "make the bridge" to the nearet weekend when holidays fall on Tuesday or Thursday. In years when Ascension Day falls on Victory Day only the former is marked.

Under the law, every French citizen is entitled to 5 weeks of vacation. Most take their summer vacations in July or August, and many major businesses are closed then. All of France takes to the roads, railroads, boats, and airways. Travelling in France during August is generally a miserable experience. Trains and roads near major cities get particularly busy around the national holidays. This is also the time when unions such as ferry operators, coach drivers, railway workers and baggage loaders choose to go on strike. Travellers should check ahead, particularly when planning a trip for during July or August. It is a good idea to call museums, restaurants and hotels in advance to make sure they will be open. During May there is a holiday nearly every week, so be prepared for shops, banks and museums to be closed for days at a time.

The civic calendar was first instituted in 1582; Bastille Day was incorporated in 1789, Armistice Day in 1918, Workers' Day in 1935, and Victory Day in 1945. Other holidays are traditional Roman Catholic "Holy Days". Oddly, Good Friday is not a Public Holiday in France (except in Alsace & Lorraine) and the same applies to Boxing Day (St Stephen's Day, 26th December). Several holidays are fixed by the date of the first Sunday after the first full-moon after the Spring Equinox. This is the date of Easter Sunday, and it determines the dates of Ascension and Pentecost. See links below for further information:


Public Holidays in France: 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012

 
2007
2008
2009
2010
2011
2012
 
 
 
New Year's Day
(Jour de l'an)
1 Jan
1 Jan
1 Jan
1 Jan
1 Jan
1 Jan
 
Easter
(Pâques)  
8 Apr
23 Mar
12 Apr
4 Apr
24 Apr
8 Apr
 
Labour Day
(Fête du premier mai)
1 May
1 May
1 May
1 May
1 May
1 May
 
WWII Victory Day
(Fête de la Victoire 1945; Fête du huitième mai)
8 May
8 May
8 May
8 May
8 May
8 May
 
Ascension
(l'Ascencion)  
17 May
1 May
21 May
13 May
2 Jun
17 May
 
Pentecost
(la Pentecôte)  
27 May
11 May
31 May
23 May
12 Jun
27 May
 
Bastille Day
(Fête nationale)
14 Jul
14 Jul
14 Jul
14 Jul
14 Jul
14 Jul
 
Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary
(Assomption)
15 Aug
15 Aug
15 Aug
15 Aug
15 Aug
15 Aug
 
All Saints Day
(La Toussaint)
1 Nov
1 Nov
1 Nov
1 Nov
1 Nov
1 Nov
 
Armistice Day
(Jour d'armistice [1918])
11 Nov
11 Nov
11 Nov
11 Nov
11 Nov
11 Nov
 
Christmas Day
(Noël)
25 Dec
 25 Dec
 25 Dec
25 Dec
 25 Dec
 25 Dec
 

 

The following are traditional holidays. Those in bold type are the eleven Public National Holidays (jours fériés) in France.

1 January Jour de l'An New Year's Day
6 January Epiphanie Epiphany - Commemorating the (entirely unbiblical) arrival of the three kings.
14 February Saint-Valentin St Valentine's Day
40 days before Easter Mardi Gras literally "Fat Tuesday" - Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Day
Easter Pâques The first Sunday after the first full-moon after the Spring Equinox.
1 April Poisson d'Avril April Fool's Day
1 May Fête du Travail Workers' Day (cf US Labor Day), May Day
8 May Fête de la Libération (Commemorating the end of WW II in Europe, 1945)
40 days after Easter Ascension Commemorating the ascension of JC into heaven, an improbable event tacked onto some fourth century versions of some gospels.
50 days after Easter Pentecôte Whit Sunday (Pentecost)
14 July Fête nationale Bastille Day, commemorating the storming of the Bastille in 1789. Click on the following link to learn more about Bastille DayNext.
15 August Assomption Commemorating the bodily Assumption (of the BV Mary into Heaven, despite thousands of her miracle-working bones still kept in hundreds of Churches)
1 November Toussaint All Saints' Day - just in case any of them get forgotten
11 November Fête de la Victoire Armistice Day (Commemorating the end of WW I in 1918)
25 December Noël Christmas Day - a rebranded day of Sol Invictus, Mithras and other sun gods.


Click here for more about the contradiction of a nominally secular state celebrating Christian festivals Next.

 

School holidays and vacations for every region of France for the current academic year and the next three years. (in French only) School Holidays Next.

The development of French holiday traditions over the centuries, and how many of these customs were imported to the new world. Christmas Traditions in France & Canada Next.

Collection of links to sites on French leisure, festivals, and religious celebrations. Francophone Holidays & Traditions Next.

 

 

 

 

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Languedoc Holidays

Dates of National Holidays