Public holidays in France

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French etching from 1789 depicting the storming of the Bastille, commemorated as Bastille Day

There are 11 official public holidays in France.[1] The Alsace region and the Moselle department observe 2 additional days.[2] Most Asian countries and all North American countries observe between 2 and 10 more public holidays per year[3]

Public holidays in France are:

DateEnglish nameLocal nameRemarks
1 JanuaryNew Year's DayNouvel an / Jour de l'an / Premier de l'an
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)
14 JulyBastille DayFête nationaleFrench National Day, commemorates the Feast of the Federation
15 AugustAssumption of Mary to HeavenL'Assomption de Marie
1 NovemberAll Saints' DayLa Toussaint
11 NovemberArmistice DayArmistice de 1918End of World War I
25 DecemberChristmas DayNoël
26 DecemberSt. Stephen's DaySaint-ÉtienneObserved only in Alsace and Moselle


See Fêtes et jours fériés en France (Wikipedia page in French), to have all the dates (French Overseas Departments (DOM) added).[4]

Note: French law dictates that work should stop, but be paid, only for the Fête du Travail (May Day, 1 May),[5] except in industries where it is infeasible to stop working.[6] The rest of the public holidays are listed in statute law,[7] 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 Whit Monday's status as a public holiday. The decision was eventually overruled by French courts in 2008.


  1. ^ French labor law, L3133-3
  2. ^ French labor law, IDCC 1686
  3. ^ Employee holiday entitlement around the world, Mercer
  4. ^ "familial vacances conseiller". Retrieved 31 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Code du Travail, L3133-4
  6. ^ Code du Travail, L3133-6
  7. ^ Code du Travail, L3133-1