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] Contrary to 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 is 8.6 and ranges from 7 to 10,[4] one of the lowest in the world.[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 (observed only in Alsace and Moselle)
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 Sunday)
14 JulyBastille DayFête nationaleFrench National Day, commemorating the 1789 Storming of the Bastille during the French revolution
15 AugustAssumption of Mary to HeavenAssomption
1 NovemberAll Saints' DayToussaint
11 NovemberArmistice DayArmistice de 1918End of World War I
25 DecemberChristmas DayNoël
26 DecemberSt. Stephen's DaySaint-ÉtienneObserved only in Alsace and Moselle

See here, 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, May 1),[6] except in industries where it is infeasible to stop working.[7] The rest of the public holidays are listed in statute law,[8] 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, L3134-1
  3. ^ French labor law, IDCC 1686
  4. ^ French wikipédia
  5. ^ Employee holiday entitlement around the world, Mercer; most Asian countries and all North American countries observe between 2 and 10 more public holidays per year
  6. ^ Code du Travail, L3133-4
  7. ^ Code du Travail, L3133-6
  8. ^ Code du Travail, L3133-1