I love holidays! No matter where you are in the world, holidays are always fun.
They are celebrated with parades, parties, feasts, and other festivities. Not to mention a day or two off work!
Many public French holidays could be considered worldwide holidays, and are not just celebrated by the French, such as New Years.
There are a few national French holidays however.
- Armistice Day – also known as Remembrance Day or Poppy Day – commemorates the signing of the Armistice Treaty signed on November 11, 1918 that marked the end of World War I on the Western Front.
- Bastille Day is the French Independence day and is celebrated on July 14th every year. It marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille and is a symbol of the freedom that resulted from the French Revolution. Bastille Day is a big deal. It’s even celebrated in other parts of the world besides France!
- Labor Day is an annual holiday that is celebrated all over the world that resulted from efforts of the labor union movement. In France, it is also known as May Day, since it is celebrated on May 1
- VE Day – Victory in Europe Day – is celebrated on May 8 every year. It commemorates the day that the Allies accepted the unconditional surrender of the armed forces of Nazi Germany and officially ended the Second World War.
Other public French holidays are historically religious, and are celebrated in many other countries as well.
- All Saints Day is on November 1 every year and is exactly what the name implies – a day celebrating all the Christian Saints.
- Ascension Day is celebrated on the Thursday thirty days after Easter, and commemorates the ascension of Jesus into heaven.
- The Feast of the Assumption is a holy day celebrating the day the Virgin Mary was transported into heaven with her body and soul united. The Assumption of Mary is celebrated on August 15 every year.
- Christmas in France, known as Noël, is celebrated on December 25th and is the Christian celebration of the birth of Jesus. In France, Christmas is celebrated the same way as in other western nations, with the exchanging of gifts and other festivities.
- Easter Sunday, or Pâques, celebrates the day Christ rose from the dead two days after his crucifixion. The day changes every year, but it always falls on a Sunday, sometime in either March or April. The French also celebrate the day after Easter, Easter Monday.
- Pentecost is known by many names, including Whitsun, and Whit Sunday. It is celebrated the 7th Sunday after Easter every year, and on the tenth day after Ascension Thursday. The holiday commemorates the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the Apostles and other followers of Jesus. For Christians, the Pentecost is a powerful holy day of salvation. Whit Monday is the day after Pentecost. In France, Whit Monday is simply known as the second day of Pentecost.
The French enjoy their holidays and their time off to relax. A lot of the locals in large cities like to get out of town, often traveling to the country or the beach.
Many French people also opt to get away to surrounding countries on their holidays, and may be the best time to visit France, when a lot of the locals are gone to other countries!