When are the public holidays in France in 2020

Only two of France's 11 public holidays fall on a weekend in 2020

Good news for holidaymakers: most French national holidays in 2019 will take place on weekdays.

In France, national holidays or jours fériés are taken on the day they fall, rather than being moved to the nearest weekend, or the nearest Monday, as happens in the UK.

This leads to a practice called faire le pont - literally “doing the bridge”, when holidays fall on a Tuesday or a Thursday.

Workers may choose to take an extra day off to “bridge” or join the national holiday to the weekend, giving them four days off in a row (the national holiday, the extra day off, and the weekend).

Some may even choose to take two extra days off, for example, when the national holiday falls on a Wednesday, giving them five consecutive days off work for the price of two holiday days.

In 2020, nine of France's 11 national public holidays fall on a weekday. Only Assumption, on Saturday, August 15, and Toussaint, on Sunday, November 1, fall on a weekend.

Three days
This means that five three-day weekends will be possible: the Easter weekend of April 13 and Pentecost on June 1 both fall on a Monday; May Day (May 1) and VE Day (May 8) are on Fridays, as is Christmas Day 2020.

Four days
Two four-day “bridges” will be possible: Ascension (Thursday, May 21) and the fete national (Tuesday, August 14).

Five days
It may well be too late to 'bridge' Wednesday, January 1, to the following weekend for a five-day break, if you have not already done so, but Armistice Day, on November 11, is also on a Wednesday, so you may be able to arrange five days off for the price of two holidays if you move quickly.

Depending on where you live, more public holidays may be available. In Alsace and Moselle, Good Friday and December 26 are also jours fériés.

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