Why 2024 (especially May) is a very good year for holidays in France

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Why 2024 (especially May) is a very good year for holidays in France
There will be plenty of holiday days in France in 2024. Photo by Thibaud MORITZ / AFP

Some good news is on the horizon - if you will be working in France in 2024, then you can look forward to a very good year for holidays.


In addition to 25 days of annual leave for employees France also has 11 public holidays a year, which rises to 13 if you live in the eastern areas of Alsace.

There is, however, an important caveat - in France public holidays are taken on the day of the week that the holiday falls on, as opposed to the UK system which gives a public holiday on the nearest Monday to the date.

In France, if the event happens to fall on a weekday, workers get an extra day off. If, however, the event falls on a Saturday or a Sunday there is no extra day off and the holiday is 'lost'.


This gives rise to the concept of good holiday years and bad holiday years - depending on how many public holidays happen to fall on a weekend.

And in good news, 2024 is a very good year with just one holiday - the Fête nationale on July 14th - lost to a weekend.

This means that workers will get a total of 10 extra days off work (or 12 if they live in Alsace). 

There's also a rare 'double holiday' in May - Wednesday, May 8th is a holiday marking VE Day, the end of World War II in Europe, while Thursday, May 9th is also a holiday. This is the Christian festival of Ascension, which changes date depending on the date of Easter. 

So taking the whole of that week off will only use up three days of your annual leave allowance - and it also happens to be Eurovision week if you're planning a party. 

Here is the full list of 2024 holidays; 

  • New Year's Day: Monday, January 1st
  • Easter Monday: Monday, April 1st
  • May Day: Wednesday, May 1st
  • VE Day: Wednesday, May 8th
  • Ascension: Thursday, May 9th
  • Pentecost: Monday, May 20th (only a holiday for some)
  • Fête nationale: Sunday, July 14th
  • Assumption: Thursday, August 15th
  • Toussaint: Friday, November 1st
  • Armistice Day: Monday, November 11th
  • Christmas: Wednesday, December 25th

Those living in the départements of Bas-Rhin, Haut-Rhin and Moselle (the historic Alsace region) also get;

  • Good Friday: Friday, March 29th
  • St Stephen's Day: Thursday, December 26th

The year 2024 provides few opportunities to faire le pont (do the bridge - or take an extra day off next to a public holiday on a Tuesday or a Thursday to create a four-day weekend) - only Ascension and Assumption provide 'pont' opportunities.

There are, however, five holidays on either a Monday or a Friday, creating a three-day weekend. 

The school holidays for 2024 are;

Christmas - December 23rd to January 8th 

February holidays 

  • Zone A - February 17th to March 4th
  • Zone B and Corsica - February 24th to March 11th
  • Zone C - February 10th to February 26th

Easter holidays 

  • Zone A - April 13th to April 29th
  • Zone B - April 20th to May 6th
  • Zone C - April 6th to April 22nd
  • Corsica - April 27th to May 3rd 

Summer holidays - July 6th to September 2nd

Toussaint - October 19th to November 4th 

Christmas - December 21st to January 6th, 2025 




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