Holidays in France

"> Be the first to comment / by Carlo Galici / updated: 11 September 2020

The topics of Holidays in France:

  • 1 January
  • February 2
  • 3 March
  • 4 April
  • May 5
  • 6 June
  • July 7
  • 8 August
  • 9 Settembre
  • 10 October
  • 11 November
  • 12 December


Il 1st January New Year's Eve is celebrated (Nouvelle Année).

Il 6st January, the day of the Epiphany, in Paris and throughout France, tradition sees the typical dessert as the protagonist, the “Galettes des Rois“ (cake of the kings), in honor of the Three Kings. In the North of France, it is usually made in a round puff pastry with an almond filling; in the southern regions, on the other hand, it is a cake in the shape of a crown, enriched with candied fruit: in both cases there is a bean inside and whoever, among the guests of the cake, is lucky enough to find it, will be the king of the day.

From end of January and early February: Chinese New Year which falls exactly when there is a new moon. The celebrations for the Chinese New Year, one of the most colorful and joyful festivals in the city, mainly involve the 13th arrondissement which becomes a teeming with floats and corps, dances and acrobats in which yellow and red dominate.


Il 2 February it is Candlemas, a Catholic holiday that commemorates the presentation of Christ in the temple. In the past, this day marked the traditional transition from winter austerity to milder spring and gave the "go" to sowing: today the custom of consuming tasty crepes remains, an auspice of prosperity.

Il 14 February it's Valentine's Day. Paris is the favorite destination for Italians to celebrate.


Between February and: Carnival. Not everyone knows that Paris boasts a past as the capital of Carnival, a festival that was deeply felt and celebrated until the 1997s. In 30 it was reintroduced, acquiring more and more popularity over time and reasserting itself as one of the most prestigious Carnivals in the world. On the Sunday before Shrove Tuesday the parade of allegorical floats is held, while in mid-Lent (March 2014 in XNUMX) the Feast of the Laundresses is celebrated with the reversal of roles: women dress up as queens (intended as queens of washerwomen) and men from women.


In 2019 Easter it will be celebrated on April 21st. Just like us, in France there is also a holiday on the following Monday. Easter celebrates Christ's resurrection from the dead and eggs are the symbol of rebirth. Children are used to looking for chocolate ones hidden around the house and traders display delicious ones. Don't miss a religious service at Notre Dame with its Gregorian chants.


May 1st is the labor Day (Fete du Travail): alongside the demonstrations organized by the workers' unions, the Parisian tradition sees the custom of setting up the interiors with lilies (a symbol of good luck).

The fifth Thursday (corresponding to 40 days) after Easter is celebrated on Ascension day (ascent) of Jesus to heaven. Solemnity observed only by Christians, in 2016 it falls on May 5 and represents the first and long-awaited weekend of the summer.

50 days after Easter is celebrated the Pentecost, so in 2016 it will fall on May 15th. Whit Monday is also a holiday. Much felt is the pilgrimage of the chariot of the Blessed Sacrament from Chartres Cathedral to Paris.



The most important national holiday is celebrated on 14 July: the Storming of the Bastille. In 1789 the French citizens, by conquering the prison symbol of the Old Regime, gave life to the French Revolution, a prelude to a new era. The day features the Solemn parade on the Champs Elysèes, followed by the President's speech, and a fireworks display in the evening.


August 15, commonly called Ferragosto, Christians remember the Assumption of Mary into heaven: do not miss the procession that starts from Notre Dame and fills the city streets.




November 1st is celebrated All Saints.

November 11 is the day dedicated to remembrance the Armistice which put an end to the First World War: solemn parade on the Champs Elysèe and deposition of the wreath at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe.


December 25 is celebrated on Christmas: the city mood in this period is truly enchanting. Illuminations and ice floes, decorated trees and markets make the atmosphere even more romantic and engaging.

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