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Jours Fériés

The French enjoy 11 national jours feriés (holidays) annually.

During the month of May, there is a holiday nearly every week, so be prepared for stores, banks and museums to shut their doors for days at a time.

It is a good idea to call museums, restaurants and hotels in advance to make sure they will be open.

A time for businesses to shut-down

Most offices, businesses and shops in France will close for a Public Holiday although the smaller supermarkets in many towns will open for a couple of hours in the morning (except for on Christmas day).

Bakers will operate a limited morning service as they do on Sundays. Restaurants can be relied upon to respond to the market demand so opening will depend upon place and season. Book well in advance for Christmas day though.

Fixed dates for nearly all Public Holidays in France

With the exception of those associated with Easter, Public Holidays in France are fixed. In other words, Public Holidays do not move to attach themselves to the nearest weekend as in the UK.

However, French Public Holidays falling on a Sunday are celebrated on the following Monday with the exception of Easter Sunday and Whit Sunday, which always fall on a Sunday. No time off in lieu is granted when a Public Holiday falls on a Saturday as it is in the UK.

“Faire le pont”

When a Public Holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday, it is very common to take the Friday or Monday off to create a long weekend (“faire le pont”). Many businesses, especially the smaller ones are therefore closed for the entire period, including many estate agencies.



You might like to download our free guide to French Public Holidays 2012 from french-public-holidays.pdf