Public holidays in France

There are 11 official public holidays in France.[1] The Alsace region and the Moselle department observe 2 additional days.[2] Unlike most countries, these holidays do not shift when they fall during a week-end,[3] which means that the average number of observed public holidays falling on weekdays is 8.7 and ranges from 7 to 10.[4] Most Asian countries and all North American countries observe between 2 and 10 more public holidays per year on weekdays.[5]

Public holidays in France are:

DateEnglish nameLocal nameRemarks
1 JanuaryNew Year's DayNouvel an / Jour de l'an / Premier de l'an
moveableGood FridayVendredi saintFriday before Easter Sunday. Alsace and Moselle only.[6]
moveableEaster MondayLundi de PâquesMonday after Easter Sunday (one day after Easter Sunday)
1 MayMay Day/Labour DayFête du Travail / Fête des Travailleurs
8 MayVictory in Europe DayFête de la VictoireEnd of hostilities in Europe in World War II
moveableAscension DayAscensionThursday, 39 days after Easter Sunday
moveableWhit MondayLundi de PentecôteMonday after Pentecost (50 days after Easter), observed only in some businesses, see notes
14 JulyBastille DayFête NationaleFrench National Day, commemorates the Feast of the Federation
15 AugustAssumption of Mary to HeavenAssomption
1 NovemberAll Saints' DayToussaint
11 NovemberArmistice DayArmistice de 1918End of World War I
25 DecemberChristmas DayNoël
26 DecemberSaint Stephen's DayDeuxième jour de NoëlAlsace and Moselle only.[7]

Notes

See Fêtes et jours fériés en France (Wikipedia page in French), to have all the dates (French Overseas Departments (DOM) added).

Note: French law dictates that work should stop, but be paid, only for the Fête du Travail (May Day, 1 May),[8] except in industries where it is infeasible to stop working.[9] The rest of the public holidays are listed in statute law,[10] but law does not dictate that work should stop; however a leave from work may be granted by the employer or by convention collective (agreement between employers' and employees’ unions).

In 2005, French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin removed Pentecost (Whit) Monday's status as a public holiday. This decision was eventually overruled by French courts in 2008. Employers are free to decide whether to make Whit Monday a day off or not.[11]

References

  1. French labor law, L3133-3
  2. French labor law, IDCC 1686
  3. French labor law, IDCC 1686
  4. French wikipédia
  5. Employee holiday entitlement around the world, Mercer
  6. "Jours fériés dans la fonction publique".
  7. "Jours fériés dans la fonction publique".
  8. Code du Travail, L3133-4
  9. Code du Travail, L3133-6
  10. Code du Travail, L3133-1
  11. LOI n° 2008-351
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