What changes in France in December 2022

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What changes in France in December 2022
The place des Jacobins illuminated during the Festival of Lights (Fete des Lumieres), in Lyon central eastern France, on December 7, 2021. (Photo by PHILIPPE DESMAZES / AFP)

From the Christmas holidays to fuel grants, winter festivals, Olympic tickets and possible strikes - plus much more. Here's what changes in France in December 2022.


Fuel rebate ends

The government discount on petrol and diesel, which dropped from €0.30 per litre to €0.10 per litre in November, will end completely on December 31st. The discount offered by energy-giant TotalEnergies will also be discontinued at the end of December.

French government says it plans to replace its fuel subsidy with more targeted measures, intended to help workers who rely on their vehicles to commute, although there is no detail on this yet.

Olympic ticket sales

On December 1st the draw opens to apply for tickets for the Paris 2024 Olympics and Paralympics - full details HERE.

Saint Nicolas Day

In Germany the festival of St Nicolas (December 6th) is a big deal and for historic reasons certain parts of France celebrate it too.


It’s not a public holiday but it is a day of celebration with small presents for children, parades in some towns and special gingerbread for everyone.

READ MORE: Saint Nicolas: What is the festival celebrated in parts of France on December 6th?


In France, December 25th is a holiday. Unfortunately, this year, it falls on a Sunday, so there’s no extra day off for workers.

December 24th and 26th are not public holidays in most of France (the region of Alsace-Lorraine gets December 26th off for historic reasons) although quite a lot of businesses do let their employees take days off during these days. Many businesses will be closed. 

January 1st is also a holiday, but again this falls on a Sunday this year.   

School holidays begin

Schoolchildren across France will have time off from Saturday, December 17th to Tuesday, January 3rd for the Christmas break.

There is often heavy traffic on the roads the evening before the start of the school holidays and over that weekend, so keep this in mind when making your travel plans.

Winter festivals

The first is the Festival des Lanternes in Montauban (near Toulouse) which will run from December 1st to February 5th. 2022 marks the fifth edition of the festival, people come from all over the country to admire traditional scenes of Chinese life amid thousands of colourful, Chinese lanterns.

The second is the Cabanes en Fête d’Andernos - an Oyster and Wine festival in Arcachon (near Bordeaux) on December 3rd. Festival-goers will be able to enjoy walking along the coastline, passing by several decorated stands where vendors sell local oysters, white wine and local art.

READ MORE: 11 of the best winter festivals in France

And the third is the most famous - the Lyon Fête des Lumières, which will run from December 8th to 11th. This is one of France’s most beautiful festivals. Enjoy a four-day festival of lights that transform the eastern city of Lyon into a glowing wonderland.


Possible strikes

Unions representing cabin crew at Air France and Easyjet have threatened industrial action in response to what they see as management’s failure to extend their Collective Agreement – which expired at the end of October.

According to unions, the strike will go forward if a temporary contractual solution is not negotiated with management to replace the Collective Agreement. The proposed strike would run from December 22nd to January 2nd.

Christmas bonus 

The Prime de Nöel, an end-of-year bonus, also known as the Christmas bonus, is paid out each year around ten days before Christmas (usually December 15th). It is reserved for low-income households and those who qualify for the government's top-up benefit, RSA.

Energy cheques paid out

The chèque energie will be paid automatically “by the end of 2022” to eligible households. The grants are usually distributed automatically to people on low income, based on previous year’s tax declarations, but foreigners and recent arrivals can slip through the net, especially pensioners.


If you believe you might qualify, you can apply online at

Grant for wood burners

From December 22nd, people who use wood-burning stoves to heat their homes will also be able to apply for financial aid, as the cost of pellets for wood-burners has soared in recent months.

Tax deadlines 

If you made a mistake in your déclaration des revenues, the deadline to amend your filing generally falls in mid-December. This year you will have until December 14th to make the change.

For those who are subject to a TLV or THLV tax as the owner of a vacant property, the deadline is December 15th for non-electronic payments. 

READ MORE: The complete French tax calendar for 2022

Paris lights out

On December 1st a rule forbidding light-up advertising boards overnight in Paris comes into effect. A national law came into force at the start of November banning illuminated advertising between the hours of 1am and 6am, with the exception of public transport. However the city of Paris has gone further and banned it between 11.45pm and 6am, with no transport exception. 

Electrical repair grants

From December 15th, consumers in France will be able to claim flat-rate discounts on repairs for a range of electrical items if they go to registered repair professionals. The scheme is intended to encourage people to repair items, rather than replace them, and help the environment. Full details here.


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