Dates and events in France

The departments of France

France is a country full of traditions, festivals, markets and events of all kinds.

Most towns and villages have a special "Saint's day", which is celebrated. The famous "Fete de la musique" has also spread into other countries.

The most important date is still the 14th of July, which is Bastille day, the festival of the French revolution.

France is split into 3 different zones for the school holidays, each zone taking turns to being school holidays. This is to ease road taffic.

The average French worker has 5 weeks of paid holiday per year.

More important historical dates


1st : Jour de l'An (New years day)

7th: Épiphanie


11th : Notre Dame de Lourdes (Our Lady of Lourdes)



1st: Les Rameaux

29th : Souvenir Déportés (Rememberance day for the deported WWII)


Pasques (Easter)


1st : Fête du travail (labour day, tradtionally people offer "Muguet" Lily-of-the-Valley flowers)

8th : Victoire (V-day 1945)

13th : Fête de Jeanne d'Arc


L'Ascension (40 days after Easter)

F1 Grand Prix Monaco

Pentecôte, with the following Monday being a national holiday.

Fête des Mères (Mothers day, generally the last Sunday of May)

International film festival at Cannes

International tennis open of France at the Rolland Garros stadium, Paris

The month May has three national holidays, with many people taking an extra day when possible to have a long weekend. The French say that there are two types of the month of May. The first is for the Bosses, when the holidays fall on a weekend, the second is for the workers when the holidays fall on Tuesdays or Thursdays, allowing long weekends.


3rd Sunday : Fête des Pères ( Fathers day)


24 heures at Le Mans (Le Mans 24 hours)

Mid June Nice Jazz festival


Tour de France bicycle race,

14th : Fête Nationale (celebrating the taking of the Bastille in Paris during the revolution 1789)

2nd & 3rd week : The festival of Jazz at antibes and Juan-les-Pins


15th : Assomption


The 1st and 15th are very important dates for departures and returns of main holidays, the roads will have heavy traffic.


1st Sunday : Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe  at Longchamp

1st weekend : Lille Flea market, one of the biggest in Europe.


5th : Saint François d'Assise


1st : Toussaint (All saints day)

11th: L'Armistice (1918 WWI)


International Food Festival in Dijon, "La Foire Gastronomique", one of the most important food fairs in the world, attracting hundres of thousands of visitors each year.

Les Trois Glorieuses very famous wine auction at the Hospices of Beaune


25th December : Noël (Christmas day)

31st : Saint Sylvestre (New Years eve)


First Sunday is Avent