Saturday, January 17, 2015

French public and school holiday dates 2015

French Village Diaries holidays France Collioure
Collioure a lovely place for a holiday in France

It is the middle of January, so obviously the most important thing to be thinking about now is your next holiday (to France of course). Last January I posted a popular blog about the French public and school holiday dates and although I may be a little later this year, I thought you would find it useful to know the dates for 2015.

Public Holidays in France 2015
1st January
6th April, Easter Monday (note there is no Good Friday holiday in France)
1st May, Fête du Travail
8th May, Victory in Europe Day
14th May, Ascension Day
25th May, Pentecost Monday
14th July, Fete National
15th August, Assumption Day
1st November, All Saint's Day
11th November, Armistice Day
25th December, Christmas Day

With the exception of the three 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 (14th July this year) by taking off the Friday or Monday giving themselves a four day weekend. It is worth noting that in many areas of rural France most shops, supermarkets, petrol stations, garden centres and DIY stores will be either closed or only open in the mornings on pubic holidays. Opening on public holidays is becoming more common and most shops will be open on the bridge days.

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.

Here are the dates for 2015:
The winter holiday is from 7th February to 8th March. Zone A gets the first two weeks, Zone C the middle two and Zone B the last two.
The spring holiday is from 11th April to 10th May. Zone A gets the first two weeks, C the middle two and B the last two.
The summer holiday for all zones is from 4th July until 31st August.
The October holiday for all zones is from 17th October to 1st November.
The Christmas holiday for all zones is from 19th December to 4th January 2016.

I hope you find this useful and if you are planning a holiday to France, I hope it’s a good one. If you are still looking, don’t forget to check out Special Places in France.

For more information on some of the French traditions surrounding their holidays do check out French Holidays and Traditions by Margo Lestz, Amazon link below.