|French public and school holidays 2022
Happy New Year.
January is with us once more and as in previous years, here is my annual post with all the French public holidays, school holidays and other notable dates, plus how they are celebrated here in France, for 2022.
Nothing much seems to have changed from when I wrote a similar post last December, as we once again find ourselves living with strict Covid-19 controls in place, concerning who travel to France from the UK and the rules they must follow.
I can only hope that travel and holidays in 2022 become easier for us all, but please do check with the relevant authorities before planning your 2022 holiday travel. The UK government update this information page on their website on a regular basis: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/france
Public Holidays in France 2022
1st January, New Year’s Day, jour de l’an (a Saturday this year)
17th April, Easter Sunday, Pâques
18th 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 (a Sunday this year)
8th May, Victory in Europe Day, Victoire 1945 (a Sunday this year)
26th May, Ascension Day, Ascension (note schools will have an extra day off on Friday 27th May for the bridge (pont))
6th June, Pentecost Monday, lundi de Pentecôte
14th July, Fête Nationale
15th August, Assumption Day, Assomption
1st November, All Saints Day, Toussaint
11th November, Armistice Day, Armistice 1918
25th December, Christmas Day, Jour de Noël (a Sunday this year) (note there is no Boxing Day holiday in France on 26th unless you live in Alsace or Moselle areas)
Faire le pont
Except for 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) or a Tuesday, by taking off the Friday or Monday to give themselves a four-day weekend. This leave 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.
In 2022 four public holidays fall on Saturdays (1st January) or Sundays (1st May, 8th May and 25thDecember), and three have the option of bridging to a weekend (26th May, 14th July and 1stNovember). It is worth noting that in many areas of rural France, although some opening 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)
12th January, winter sales begin, soldes d’hiver, sales are regulated in France and the winter sales will run from 12th January to 8th February (this may be subject to change, depending on current Covid-19 restrictions)
2nd February Candlemas day, Chandeleur, celebrated in France with pancakes (see here)
1st March, Shrove Tuesday, Mardi Gras when carnival time begins in France and pancakes, or beignets (similar to doughnuts) are eaten.
27th March, clocks spring forward an hour to Central European Summer Time
10th April, Palm Sunday, Rameaux a day where our local boulangeries bake something different (see here)
27th May, Neighbours’ Day, fêtes des voisins
29th May, Mother’s Day, fêtes des mères
19th June, Father’s Day, fêtes des pères
21st June, world music day, fête de la musique, celebrated with free concerts in towns and villages all over France
22nd June, summer sales begin, soldes d’été, and will run until 19th July
1st July to 24th July, Le Tour de France, with a planned depart in Copenhagen and a finish in Paris
24th July to 31st July, Le Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, the inaugural women’s Tour de France begins in Paris and finishes on the Planche des Belles Filles in the Vosges
30th October, clocks go back an hour to Central European Time (although the future of this is up for debate)
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 2022:
The winter holiday is from 5th February to 7th March.
Zone B gets the first two weeks, Zone A the middle two and Zone C the last two.
The spring holiday is from 9th April to 9th 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 7th July until 1st September.
The October holiday for all zones is from 22nd October to 7th November.
The Christmas holiday for all zones is from 17th December to 3rd January 2023.
Whether you are new to life in France, or just hoping that at some point in 2022 enough normality will return to ensure you are able to make plans to travel to France on your holidays, I hope you find this useful for planning your trip in the quieter weeks outside of the French school holidays.
Please see my post from last year (click here) detailing the changes that Brexit brought in regarding travel between the UK to the EU.
I really do hope you are able to enjoy a safe holiday in France at some point this year.
If you have found this post useful, please feel free to share it with your French loving friends and family.