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August Holidays

It's August and for the French that means just one thing: les vacances. Urbanites are leaving Paris and other cities for the coast or countryside, and hordes are descending on the Côte d'Azur, the Atlantic Coast or their residence secondaire (holiday home).

The French enjoy eleven holidays or jours feriés annually. And by law, every full time French worker is also entitled to five weeks holiday per year. Most French people take their summer vacations in July or August and the majority holiday within France rather than travelling to other countries.

The normally busy Parisian streets become deserted and many businesses are closed. But the emptying of the cities is not entirely voluntary. Many French people are obliged to take the bulk of their holidays in August, because their workplaces are closed. School children also have a long break in August, so it's often the best opportunity for a family to holiday together.

Shops and businesses in Paris and other cities are often deserted for the month, sometimes longer. Whole apartment buildings are shuttered up when Parisians flee the city. So, if you're planning on visiting France in August, just be aware that in Paris, while you may avoid the crowds, many businesses will be shut. And the tourist areas of the Côte d'Azur and the Atlantic Coast will be very busy.

Public Holidays

1 January New Year's Day

(Jour de l'an)

1 May Labor Day (Fête du premier mai)
8 May WWII Victory Day

(Fête de la Victoire 1945; Fête du huitième mai)

14 July Bastille Day (Fête nationale)
15 August Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary

(Assomption)

1 November All Saints Day

(La Toussaint)

11 November Armistice Day

(Jour d'armistice)

25 December Christmas Day

(Noël)

26 December 2nd Day of Christmas

(in Alsace and Lorraine only)

Moveable Feasts

Feast
2014
2015
2016

Good Friday
In Alsace and Lorraine only

18 April 3 April 25 March
Easter (Pâques) 20 April 5 April 27 March
Easter Monday 21 April 6 April 28 March
Ascension (l'Ascencion) 29 May 14 May 5 May
Pentecost (la Pentecôte) 8 June 24 May 15 May
Whit Monday 9 June 25 May 16 May