SHARE
COPY LINK

LIVING IN FRANCE

Strikes, health, singers and taxes: 6 essential articles for life in France

Health, taxes and - this being France - strikes are the staples of life, so we're taking a look at those in our 6 essential articles for French life, as well as some music recommendations, and weird language quirks.

Strikes, health, singers and taxes: 6 essential articles for life in France
Listening to French music can be a great way to brush up on your vocab and accent. Photo by Anna KURTH / AFP

This is an issue that’s going to run and run.

Last week thousands of people took to the streets in a wave of national strikes- with many vowing to create an autumn of chaos if president Emmanuel Macron pushes ahead with highly controversial pension reform plans. Here’s a look at what is happening and why.

‘The start of a social battle’ – what you need to know about France’s controversial pension reform

On to health matters. Experts have warned of a particularly bad flu epidemic this winter in France due to a combination of lowered immune systems and ‘vaccine apathy’ – urging high-risk groups to get their shot as soon as the flu vaccination campaign begins in October.

Experts warn of high levels of flu in France this winter

Every year in September and October the French tax office sends out bills to households across France relating to property taxes. These autumn bills are usually made up of three parts; taxe foncière, taxe d’habitation and the redevance audiovisuelle.

However, system changes to all three parts mean that for some people bills will be much lower than last year, while others will have nothing at all to pay. Here, we explain what has changed – and why.

What to expect from your 2023 French property tax bills

Important to know – if you’re living in France and you’re not a French citizen, certain scenarios can get you expelled from the country. Although this isn’t an everyday occurrence there are a wide range of offences that can see you kicked out of France. 

Overstaying, working without a permit and polygamy – what can get you deported from France?

Music can be an effective way of progressing in a language while having fun. Whether you’re a beginner in search of vocab, or an advanced learner hoping to hone your accent and learn some cool slang, these musicians will help you improve your French.

The 10 best singers to listen to if you’re learning French

Speaking of linguistic matters, have you noticed that you may have started dropping French words into your everyday English? After a while you end up speaking a weird mixture of French and English. Here are some of the most common French additions.

The 13 French words that English-speakers just can’t stop using

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.
For members

LIVING IN FRANCE

Why 2023 (especially May) is a great year for holidays in France

Did you know that there are good years and bad years for holidays in France? Well 2023 is a good year, very good in fact . . .

Why 2023 (especially May) is a great year for holidays in France

France is pretty generous when it comes to jours fériés (public holidays) – in total there are 11 public holidays every year, apart from in Alsace-Lorraine where people get 13 days off for historical reasons (that’s explained here).

However all public holidays in France are taken on the day they fall on that year, rather than being moved to the nearest Monday as is the case in some other countries.

This creates the concept of ‘good years’ and ‘bad years’ for holidays, and we’re happy to report that 2023 is a good year.

Faire le pont

If the holiday happens to falls on a Saturday or a Sunday, then workers don’t get any extra time off work and the holiday is ‘lost’ – both 2021 and 2022 saw a lot of lost holidays for this reason.

If the holiday falls on a weekday then most workers get the day off.

If it falls on a Monday or a Friday it means a nice long weekend, but if it falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday then people can faire le pont (do the bridge) or take one day of their annual holiday entitlement to create a nice four-day break. 

2023

In 2023, only two of France’s 11 jours fériés fall on weekends – New Year’s Day (Sunday) and Armistice Day (Saturday).

December 25th is the only official holiday day over Christmas in France – December 24th and 26th are normal working days – and in 2023 that’s on a Monday.

Only two holidays in 2023 fall on either a Tuesday or a Thursday, so you will not have many opportunities to faire le pont this year. Holidays that can be ‘bridged’ in 2023 are Ascension Day on Thursday, May 18th, and Assumption, on Tuesday, August 15th.

There is one opportunity to faire le viaduc (take two days off to ‘bridge’ to a Wednesday) and that is All Saints Day on November 1st.

May

May always has two holidays – May Day on May 1st and VE Day on May 8th – but there are two other spring holidays whose dates change each year – the Christian festivals of Ascension and Pentecost.

This year both of these fall in May, giving a whopping four public holidays, all of which are on week days (although not all workers get Pentecost as a day off, some practice ‘solidarity day’ instead).

Pentecost: The French public holiday where people work for free

Here is the full list of 2023 holidays in France:

Sunday, January 1st – New Year’s Day
Monday, April 10th – Easter Monday
Monday, May 1st – Worker’s Day
Monday May 8th – V-E Day
Thursday, May 18th – Ascension Day
Monday May 29th – Whit Monday (Lundi de Pentecôte – for some workers only).
Friday, July 14th – Bastille Day (Fête Nationale)
Tuesday, August 15th – The Assumption (l’Assomption)
Wednesday, November 1st – All Saints’ Day (Toussaint)
Saturday, November 11th – Armistice Day
Monday, December 25th – Christmas Day

SHOW COMMENTS