All you need to know about the French holidays. Here you will find the religious holidays and the civil French celebrations, and everything you should know about them. To be unbeatable on the question!
1st January: New Year – Le Nouvel An – French celebration
The first day of the year: January 1st.
This day became a celebration under the 1st Empire in 1810.
The « New Year » is celebrated at 00:00, with friends and / or family.
French people usually spend it with their Friends (Christmas is the family time).
They love to go dancing, eat great food : many different toasts with « foie gras », cheese, salmon…
and of course drink Champagne!
1st may: Labor Day – La fête du travail – French celebration
On the first of May, Labor Day was declared a celebration on April 23, 1919.
It is the day of the International Workers’ Day , which celebrates the struggles for the 8-hour day.
It is a public celebration, non-work and paid.
On May 1st, we offer lily of the valley to our loved ones.
Indeed this plant symbolizes spring.
8th May : Victory Day – La fête de la Victoire – French celebration
On May 8, Victory Day is the day of the commemoration of the end of the Second World War in Europe.
Declared a holiday, in France, on March 20, 1953,
the holiday character was removed by President Charles de Gaulle in 1959.
Subsequently, President Giscard d’Estaing also removes the commemoration in 1975.
This is only in 1981 that the law restores the holiday under the presidency of François Mitterrand.
July 14: The French National Day – La Fête Nationale – French Celebration
On July 14, the French National Day is the day of the commemoration of the feast of the Federation,
July 14, 1790, which celebrated the storming of the Bastille of 1789.
This day becomes a national holiday July 6, 1880.
Today On the evening of July 14, there are fireworks and military parades all over France
and especially on the Champs Elysées.
11th November: Armistice – L’Armistice – French celebration
On November 11, the Armistice is the anniversary of the Armistice,
ending the First World War and the annual commemoration of victory and peace.
This is the day of homage to all the dead for France.
Easter Monday – Le lundi de Pâques
Easter Monday (1 day after Easter) has no fixed date.
It’s a national holiday.
Easter is the most important holiday of Christianity (after Christmas, of course!).
This holiday celebrates Jesus resurrection.
At this party, children participate in egg hunts in the gardens and offer chocolates to relatives.
Ascension Day – L’ascension
Ascension Thursday (40 days after Easter) has no fixed date.
It’s a national holiday.
It is a Christian holiday that celebrates the rise of Jesus in heaven.
Whit Monday – le Lundi de Pentecôte
Whit Monday (50 days after Easter) has no fixed date.
It’s a national holiday.
It is a Christian holiday celebrating the sending of the Holy Spirit to the disciples and the birth of the Church.
15th August The Assumption – L’Assomption
It is the Assumption day, a Christian holiday celebrating Mary,
patron saint of France since the Ancien Régime.
This day was declared a holiday by Napoleon, to celebrate his birthday.
In some French cities, on the evening of August 15, fireworks can be seen.
1st November All Saints Day – La Toussaint
All Saints’ Day is a solemnity celebrated on November 1st
by the Latin Catholic Church in honor of all saints.
On the evening of October 31,
some celebrate the commemoration of the deceased and Halloween,
Children go to the streets to ring the doors to ask for candy.
25th December: Christmas – Noël
Christmas is a festival of Roman origin celebrated every year on the night of December 24 to 25 and the 25 all day.
As a Christian holiday, it commemorates the birth of Jesus of Nazareth.
Some families celebrate Christmas on the evening of the 24th (« Christmas Eve »)
by opening the gifts only at 00:00 or the next morning
and some families celebrate Christmas on December 25th.
In Paris, we find the famous Christmas market on the Champs Elysees.
In France, we eat mainly oysters, snails, foie gras, dine with chestnuts, stuffed capons, the Christmas log …
February 14: Valentine’s Day – La Saint Valentin
February 14 is Valentine’s Day.
Paris being the « city of lovers », many French and foreign couples come on the Pont des Arts,
to hang a padlock on the bridge celebrating their love.
The first Sunday of March:
The Grandmothers’ Day
March 8: International Women’s Rights Day
– La journée internationale des droits des femmes
The last Friday of May: neighbors party
– La fête des voisins
If you leave in France, you will may be see a flyer to invit you in the little building’s yard, or in your street.
If so, you are lucky!
Somebody in your building, or street is taking care of good relationships between neighbors.
For this celebration, you just need to bring something to eat and drink to share with others,
and be ready to enjoy your neighbors.
You will love it!
The last Sunday of May: Mother’s Day
The third Sunday of June: Father’s Day
June 21: the music celebration – La fête de la musique
? Now you know everything about the French celebrations!
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