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

Genevieve Mansfield
Genevieve Mansfield - [email protected]
On the Agenda: What's happening in France this week
France's President Emmanuel Macron lays a wreath of flowers on the tomb of the unknown soldier at the Arc de Triomphe as part of ceremonies marking the Allied victory against Nazi Germany and the end of World War II in Europe (VE Day), in Paris on May 8, 2022. (Photo by Ludovic MARIN / POOL / AFP)

From an important state visit to two public holidays and QR codes for Paris residents, here's what is happening in France this week.

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Monday

Xi Jinping visiting France - China's President XI Jinping and his wife, Peng Liyuan, will be in France from Monday to Tuesday for a state visit. French President Emmanuel Macron will welcome them in the Hautes-Pyrénées in southern France. The visit is a recognition of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between France and China.

30th Anniversary of Channel Tunnel - The Channel Tunnel was inaugurated by Queen Elizabeth II and France's then president François Mitterand on May 6, 1994 - 30 years ago.

Wednesday

Bank holiday for VE Day - Most workers across France will get a day off for Victory in Europe day on May 8th. You can expect the day to involve military parades and remembrance events in towns and cities around France. This year will mark the 79th anniversary of the end of the war.

Olympic torch arrival - The Olympic torch, which already started its journey from Greece, will arrive in Marseille on May 8th before beginning its relay around France. You can see the route here.

Thursday

Bank holiday for Ascension - This year, the Christian festival of Ascension falls on Thursday, May 9th. This means workers in France will enjoy two back-to-back jours fériés (bank holidays).

Friday

QR code for Paris residents - People who live in the area closest to the Seine river in Paris will need to sign up for a QR code to access their homes and neighbourhoods during and shortly before the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games. If you plan to host guests, you will also need to register them for security purposes.

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You can see the area that will be encompassed within the security zone HERE. As for signing up for the QR code, the website to sign up will be posted by the Paris Police Préfecture in the coming days, and it is set to open on Friday, May 10th.

READ MORE: Which areas will be closed in Paris during the Olympics?

Faire le point - With two public holidays in the middle of the week, many people in France will take advantage of the opportunity to 'faire le pont' (make the bridge) by taking off work on Friday.

MotoGP Grand Prix - Fans of motorcycle racing will undoubtedly be excited for the French MotoGP Grand Prix, which will run from Friday May 10th to Sunday May 12th at Le Mans, along the Bugatti circuit. You can find full information for the event here.

Saturday

Eurovision - Saturday marks the finals of the Eurovision song contest, but you can also watch France compete before that. The semi-finals are set for May 7th and May 9th (although France goes straight through to the finals every year as one of the 'big five' who fund the contest). France will be represented by the artist Slimane. 

READ MORE: 5 things to know about France's 2024 Eurovision song

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Sunday

Mother's Day in the US - With UK Mother's Day having passed and French Mother's Day not until the end of the month, it is easy for Americans in France to forget that US Mother's Day falls on the second Sunday of May. Consider this a helpful reminder to make your reservations or send your letter, flowers or gifts ASAP.

Heavy traffic on French roads - Traffic watchdog Bison Futé predicts that return travel will be congested on Sunday, as holidaymakers head home after enjoying the May public holidays. Traffic is expected to be 'black' (extremely slow) in the north-west, while the rest of the country has been marked in red for (very slow). You can consult their predictions here.

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