Holidays in france

Holidays like Easter, Pentecost and Christmas are celebrated almost everywhere in the world. But each nation also has its own country-specific celebrations. Our neighboring country France is no exception. What holidays the French celebrate and which ones Events, traditions and customs are connected with the respective days, you will find out in this overview of France’s public holidays.

Overview of holidays in France

New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day (31.12. and 1.1.)

The last night of the year is also celebrated by the French, preferably with family and friends. Unlike in other countries, however, these holidays in France are rather quiet, because large fireworks are not usual. Partly it is even forbidden, privately rockets& Co. to ignite, and there are only sporadic smaller organized fireworks displays.

© Jean-Marie MAILLET –

If you are in France over this holiday and still don’t want to miss out on a gigantic light show, you’re in for a treat before the Paris Eiffel Tower well kept.

Also great: In Paris the Use the Metro from 31. December at 5 p.m. until New Year at 12 o’clock for all for free.

Epiphany (6.1.)

In France, the Three Kings holiday is also on the calendar, but it is not a public holiday.

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Traditionally, on Epiphany Day the Cake Galette des Rois Baked, depending on the region, from yeast dough or puff pastry. In it dried bean or a small Porcelain figurines baked in. Whoever finds them gets a cardboard crown put on and is allowed to king or queen for a day its.


Unlike Good Friday, which is a holiday only in Alsace, Easter Sunday and Easter Monday are celebrated throughout France. Like the Germans, the French spend a lot of time with their families on these days, eating Easter lamb and looking for Easter eggs and chocolate.

In the latter, particular attention is paid to quality. That’s why French chocolatiers have their hands full to keep both the little ones and the grown-ups happy.

Labor Day (1.5.)

On the international day of the work the French also leave the same on the left and celebrate instead with processions or take part in demonstrations.

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In addition, on 1. May in France also the Lily of the Valley Festival when the white flowers are sold or given as a gift. Trigger of this tradition was King Charles XI., the day on 1. May 1560 Lily of the valley distributed to the ladies at court.

Armistice Day 1945 (8.5.)

This holiday is also Victory Day because on 8. May of the year 1945 at 3 pm officially rang the Bells of all churches in France, to announce the surrender of the Germans and thus the end of the Second World War.

In 1981, this day was officially declared a national holiday in France.

Ascension Day

40 days after Easter is celebrated on this holiday the resurrection of Jesus Christ celebrates. In Germany, it is also known as Father’s Day known.

The French, however, leave the bread cart at home on this date, because fathers in France are not given a day off until the third Sunday in June honored.


Pentecost Sunday and Whit Monday in France are just as public holidays as in Germany. Celebrated the Arrival of the Holy Spirit. At the beginning of church services, the French like to sound trumpets to welcome the Holy Spirit.

National Holiday (14.7.)

A very important holiday in France takes place on 14. July takes place, because that’s when the French celebrate the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille. On this national holiday, there is a big Military parade on the Champs-elysees in Paris, which is also attended by the French president. In addition, various festivities and large fireworks displays are held throughout France Fireworks.

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Assumption of the Virgin Mary (15.8.)

Unlike in most parts of Germany, the Assumption of the Virgin Mary is a holiday official holiday in France. Since many churches dedicated to the Virgin Mary special church services are held in her honor on this day.

Small festivals are held in the villages, where the community comes together for parades, sports activities and feasts.

All Saints Day (1.11.)

On this important Catholic holiday the French also commemorate their deceased as well as all known and unknown saints.

Armistice Day 1918 (11. 11.)

This holiday commemorates the armistice, the between France and the German Empire on 11. November 1918 was agreed upon and that End of the First World War marks.

On that day, the French commemorate all war dead, forego military parades, and continue the Flags all over the country at half mast.


Like almost everywhere in the world, the French also celebrate Christmas very extensively – and of course with lots of French delicacies. On Christmas Eve the family comes together for a big feast, the so-called Reveillon, together. Thereby, according to tradition, a Turkey, filled with chestnuts, and the famous Christmas cake (Bûche de Noel) on the table.

© Jerôme Romme –

The gifts are brought by the Santa Claus (Père Noel) on the night of 24. on 25. December. In France is by the way only the 1. Christmas Day a holiday. On 26. December, everyday life continues as normal – except in Alsace, on the border with Germany, where the 2. Christmas Day is celebrated.

Opening hours during the holidays in France

On all these holidays in France are usually almost all business, offices, banks, etc. CLOSED.

Exceptions are the Epiphany and Corpus Christi, because these are no official holidays in France.

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