Public Holidays

Public holidays in France 2020-2024

The French holidays are quite similar to the German ones. From Easter to Pentecost to Christmas, most of the holidays are Christian. Despite the dominating Catholic Church, Corpus Christi is not a public holiday. The national holiday is celebrated on 14 July.

Good Friday and the second day of Christmas are an exception: both are public holidays only in Alsace and Lorraine. But they are known throughout the country.

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Non-movable holidays

Non-statutory holidays are written in gray.

holidayLocal namedate
New YearJour de l'AnJan, 1st
Labor DayFête du travailMay, 1st
Victory Day 1945Fête de la VictoireMay, 8th
French National DayFête Nationale de la FranceJul, 14th
Assumption DayAssomptionAug, 15th
All Saints' DayToussaintNov, 1st
Ceasefire of CompiègneArmistice 1918Nov, 11th
Saint NicholasSaint-NicolasDec, 6th
1st Christmas HolidayNoëlDec, 25th
2nd Christmas holiday (only Alsace + Lorraine)Lendemain de NoëlDec, 26th

Moving Holidays in France

holidayLocal name20202021202220232024
Good Friday (only Alsace + Lorraine)Vendredi SaintApr, 10thApr, 2ndApr, 15thApr, 7thMar, 29th
Easter SundayJour de PâquesApr, 12thApr, 4thApr, 17thApr, 9thMar, 31st
Easter MondayLundi de PâquesApr, 13thApr, 5thApr, 18thApr, 10thApr, 1st
Ascension of ChristAscensionMay, 21stMay, 13thMay, 26thMay, 18thMay, 9th
Whit SundayPentecôteMay, 31stMay, 23rdJun, 5thMay, 28thMay, 19th
Mother's DayFête des MèresMay, 31stMay, 30thMay, 29thMay, 28thMay, 26th
Whit MondayLundi de PentecôteJun, 1stMay, 24thJun, 6thMay, 29thMay, 20th
Corpus ChristiFête-DieuJun, 11thJun, 3rdJun, 16thJun, 8thMay, 30th
Father's DayFête des PèresJun, 21stJun, 20thJun, 19thJun, 18thJun, 16th

Day of Victory

Like many other countries involved in the Second World War, France has a holiday that dates back to its end. Every year, the "Day of Victory", or "Day of Armistice", commemorates the 8th of May 1945, the day on which the German troops capitulated, thus bringing about the end of the war. On this day the church bells ring all over France. The holiday was introduced in France in 1981.

The fact that some countries celebrate this day on 8 May, others on 9 May, is quite justified: The deed was signed on the night of May 9th, shortly after midnight German time. At that time summer time was in force in Germany, but not in all neighbouring countries, which is why some of them were still 1 hour behind and had a different date.

Special regulations in Alsace-Lorraine

By far the largest religious community in France is the Roman Catholic Church. However, in the areas of Alsace and Lorraine, which belonged to the German Reich from 1871 to 1918, some special regulations apply. Unlike in the rest of France, church and state are not separate here, but pastors, priests and also rabbis are civil servants. This is why these regions have been able to enforce the retention of public holidays, which do not apply in the rest of the country. As in Germany, these are Good Friday and the second day of Christmas.

French overseas territories

France has dependent overseas territories in the Caribbean (Martinique and Guadeloupe), South America (French Guiana) and the Indian Ocean (Réunion and Mayotte). Although these are now under partial self-government, French customs and also French legal requirements are still noticeable. All French public holidays also apply there. In addition, these overseas departments each have their own holiday to abolish slavery.