Tuesday, January 1, 2019

French school and public holidays 2019

French Village Diaries school and public holidays 2019
Holidays in France 

Happy New Year. January is here once more and as in previous years, here is my annual reminder of the public holidays, school holidays and other notable dates (and how they are celebrated) in France for 2019. 

Whether you are new to life in France, or just wanting to plan your holiday here in the quiet weeks outside of the French school holidays, I hope you find this blog useful. Please feel free to share this post with your French loving friends and family. 

Public Holidays in France 2019
1st January, New Years Day, jour de l’an
21st April, Easter Sunday, Pâques look out for flying bells (see here).
22nd April, Easter Monday, lundi de Pâques (note there is no Good Friday holiday in France unless you live in Alsace or Moselle areas)
1st May, Fête du Travail
8th May, Victory in Europe DayVictoire 1945
30th May, Ascension Day, Ascension (note in 2019 the schools will not have an extra day off on Friday 31st May for the bridge pont
10th June, Pentecost Monday, lundi de Pentecôte
14th July, Fête Nationale (a Sunday this year)
15th August, Assumption Day, Assomption
1st November, All Saint's DayToussaint
11th November, Armistice DayArmistice 1918 
25th December, Christmas Day, Jour de Noël (note there is no Boxing Day holiday in France on 26th unless you live in Alsace or Moselle areas)

With the exception of the holidays linked to Easter: Easter Monday, Ascension Day and Pentecost Monday, the above dates are the same every year and the holiday is always observed on the actual date rather than being moved to the nearest Monday as the UK would do. Public holidays can therefore fall on weekends; to make up for this it is not uncommon for people to faire le pont (make a bridge) if a holiday falls on a Thursday (Ascension Day and Assumption Day) or a Tuesday, by taking off the Friday or Monday giving themselves a four-day weekend. This will be part of their annual holiday entitlement, or the hours need to be made up, so while most businesses will be open on bridge days, some staff shortages can be expected. It is worth noting that in many areas of rural France, although some opening hours is becoming more common, most shops are likely to be either closed or only open in the mornings on public holidays.

Other dates to note:
6th January, Epiphany, celebrated in France with a Galette des Rois (see here)
9th January, winter sales begin, soldes d’hiver, sales are regulated in France and the winter sales run from 9th January to 19th February
19th January, Reading Night, Nuit de la lecture (see here)
2nd February Candlemas day, Chandeleur, celebrated in France with pancakes (see here)
5th March, Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras when carnival time begins in France and pancakes and beignets (similar to doughnuts) are eaten.
31st March, clocks spring forward an hour to Central European Summertime
14th April, Palm Sunday, Rameaux a day where our local boulangeries bake something different (see here)
24th May, Neigbours’ Day, fêtes des voisins
26th May, Mother’s Day, fêtes des mères
16th June, Father’s Day, fêtes des pères
21st June, fête de la musique, world music day, celebrated here with free concerts in towns and villages all over France
26th June, summer sales begin, Soldes d’été, and will run until 6thAugust
6th to 28th July, Le Tour de France
27th October, clocks go back an hour to Central European Time

French Village Diaries school and public holidays 2019
French School Holiday Zones

School Holidays
In France the schools are split into three zones and most of the holidays are staggered so not everyone is trying to hit the ski slopes or beaches at the same time, although be prepared for extra traffic on the roads on all Saturdays during the school holidays, or better still avoid driving on these days.

Here are the dates for 2019:
The winter holiday is from 9th February to 10th March. 
Zone B gets the first two weeks, Zone A the middle two and Zone C the last two.

The spring holiday is from 6th April to 5th May. 
Zone B gets the first two weeks, Zone A the middle two and Zone C the last two weeks.

The summer holiday for all zones is from 6th July until 1st September.

The October holiday for all zones is from 19th October to 3rd November.

The Christmas holiday for all zones is from 21st December to 5th January 2020.

Wherever you visit in France this year, I hope you have a great holiday. If you are planning of driving, you might like to read my popular post that highlights the do’s and don’ts of driving in France (see here).

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