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

There are eleven official public holidays in France,[1] of which four are movable days which always fall on a weekday. The Alsace region and the Moselle department observe two additional days.[2] These holidays do not shift when they fall during a weekend,[3] which means that the average number of observed public holidays falling on weekdays (outside Alsace and Moselle) is 8.7 and ranges from seven to ten. Most Asian countries and all North American countries observe between two and ten more public holidays per year on weekdays.[4]

Public holidays in France

Date English name Local name Remarks
1 January New Year's Day Nouvel An
moveable Good Friday Vendredi saint Friday before Easter Sunday. Alsace and Moselle only.[5]
moveable Easter Monday Lundi de Pâques Monday after Easter Sunday (one day after Easter Sunday)
1 May Labour Day Fête du Travail
8 May Victory Day Victoire 1945 End of hostilities in Europe in World War II
moveable Ascension Day Ascension Thursday, 39 days after Easter Sunday
moveable Whit Monday Lundi de Pentecôte Monday after Pentecost (50 days after Easter), observed only in some businesses, see notes
14 July Bastille Day Fête Nationale Française French National Day, commemorates the Feast of the Federation
15 August Assumption Day Assomption
1 November All Saints' Day Toussaint
11 November Armistice Day Armistice 1918 End of World War I.[6]
25 December Christmas Day Noël Newspapers are not published. Pubs, restaurants, shops, etc. closed all day by law.
26 December Saint Stephen's Day Saint Étienne Alsace and Moselle only.[5]

Overseas territories


French Guiana


New Caledonia

French Polynesia


Saint Barthélemy

Saint Martin

Wallis and Futuna


Note: French law dictates that work should stop, but be paid only for the Fête du Travail (May Day, 1 May),[20] except in industries where it is infeasible to stop working.[21] The rest of the public holidays are listed in statute law,[22] 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 Pentecost (Whit) Monday's status as a public holiday. This decision was eventually overruled by French courts in 2008.[citation needed] Employers are free to decide whether to make Whit Monday a day off or not.[23]


  1. ^ French labor law, L3133-3
  2. ^ French labor law, IDCC 1686[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ French labor law, IDCC 1686
  4. ^ Employee holiday entitlement around the world, Mercer
  5. ^ a b "Jours fériés dans la fonction publique".
  6. ^ "France Public Holidays in 2021 -".
  7. ^ "La mi-carême : une vieille tradition". Guadeloupe la 1ère.
  8. ^ "Slavery Abolition Day". — Holiday Calendar.
  9. ^ Mohsin, Haroon (26 August 2022). "Slavery Abolition Day (French Guiana)". National Today.
  10. ^ Ahmed, Hassan (10 June 2022). "French Guiana commemorates Abolition Day".
  11. ^ "Celebrating the abolition of slavery". Société de plantation, histoire et mémoires de l’esclavage à La Réunion.
  12. ^ "Fête de la citoyenneté". Gouvernement de la Nouvelle-Calédonie. 17 September 2019.
  13. ^ "Arrivée de l'Evangile et de la première bible traduite en tahitien". Polynésie la 1ère.
  14. ^ "Célébration de la Fête de l'Autonomie".
  15. ^ "Fèt Kaf". Reunion Island.
  16. ^ Mohsin, Haroon (26 August 2022). "Saint Barthélemy: Abolition Day". National Today.
  17. ^ "St. Martin News Network - Abolition of Slavery in Saint-Martin: a 28th of May…".
  18. ^ Melton, J. Gordon (13 September 2011). "Religious Celebrations: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations [2 volumes]: An Encyclopedia of Holidays, Festivals, Solemn Observances, and Spiritual Commemorations". ABC-CLIO – via Google Books.
  19. ^ "Fête du Territoire 29 juillet 2022 / Actualités / Accueil - les services de l'État à Wallis et Futuna".
  20. ^ Code du Travail, L3133-4
  21. ^ Code du Travail, L3133-6
  22. ^ Code du Travail, L3133-1
  23. ^ LOI n° 2008 – 351