On the Agenda: What's happening in France this week

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On the Agenda: What's happening in France this week
A pastry-fish in celebration of Easter and the start of April in Bordeaux (Photo by JEAN-PIERRE MULLER / AFP)

From practical jokes to more teachers' strikes plus extended café terraces in Paris, here's what is happening in France this week.



Easter Monday - The Christian religious festival is also a bank holiday (jour férié), meaning workers and pupils across the country got to enjoy a day off. 

Poisson d'Avril - April 1st was the day of 'April fish' - when France goes crazy for practical jokes. Basically it's France's version of April Fool's Day, so this might be why you had fish stuck to your back on Monday.

READER QUESTION: Can you explain the French 'poisson d'avril' tradition?

End of the winter 'Trêve Hivernale' - During winter months, tenants who stop paying their rent cannot be evicted in France due to the trêve hivernale (winter truce). However, this ended on March 31st, meaning that evictions were able to start up again on April 1st.

Paris café terraces extend - At the start of April, Parisian restaurants, cafés and bars can opt to extend their terraces. About one in five venues choose to do so.

End of green insurance cards for motorists - Starting on Monday, the rules changed for motorists in France. They are no longer required to show the green insurance card (carte verte). From April onward, only electric scooters will need to have the physical green insurance sticker displayed. As for all other vehicles, the proof of insurance will become digitised. 

READ MORE: 7 things to know about the change to France's 'carte verte' car insurance


Teacher strikes - Unions representing teachers have called for walk-outs on Tuesday, April 2nd in protest against streaming (tracking) in lower-secondary schools. 

Delayed salaries arrive - Due to the Easter holiday weekend, March salaries that were due to be paid on March 28th will be paid to the recipient's bank account on Tuesday, April 2nd instead, due to bank closures.


Energy cheque - Each year, the French government sends out a voucher to help low-income households cover their electricity, gas and heating bills. For 2024, the cheques will begin to be sent out on April 2nd. There is no need to apply - households that fit the income requirements will automatically receive the energy cheque. The arrival date for your cheque will depend on your département, you can check when yours will come by looking at this government timetable.

Olympic and Paralympic Week (OPW) - The 8th edition of the OPW will run from April 2nd to 6th. There will be plenty of activities to learn about para-sports in French schools.


Summer flight routes - Air France announced it would add seven new flight routes for the summer of 2024, starting early April for some of the flights. You can see the listing here.


Possible Paris Metro strikes - The CGT union representing RATP workers has called for strikes on Thursday, April 4th, as part of a push for wage increases. So far, there has not been evidence that the other unions will join, meaning disruption could end up being light. Keep an eye on The Local's strikes section for updates.

Ham festival - The Foire au Jambon, located in Bayonne in southern France will run from April 4th - 7th. It celebrates every stage of the creation of the famous hams that proudly bear the Basque town’s name. More info here.


School holidays - The spring school holidays begin on Saturday for Zone C, which includes Paris, Toulouse and Montpellier. Pupils will be off from April 6th to 22nd. 



Marathon de Paris - The 47th edition of the Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris will be held on Sunday April 7th. Once again, the runners will cross the capital, passing through some of the most beautiful places in Paris. You can see the route here.

Paris-Roubaix challenge - On Sunday, cycling fans will be excited to follow the Paris-Roubaix challenge, which follows the 170km route of the official ‘hell of the North’ race – including the 50km of cobbled road.


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