Make sense of...The French and holidays

The classic holiday choice for the French involves lying on a beach in August – and this year Corsica is favourite destination

This month in France, more than any other, is when everything shuts down for holidays – unless, of course, you work in the tourist industry.

It is estimated that 40% of firms shut for at least part of August, which is generally seen as the hottest month of the year, even though average temperatures are similar in July.

The week of the August 15 bank holiday, Assomption, is especially known for everything shutting down and it is hard to find a tradesman or sort out an administrative issue at this time.

Sixty per cent of people go away, says the statistics body Observatoire des inégalités, but class is a factor: 80% of senior managers get away, but only 50% of manual workers.

The favourite destination is another part of France.

For many better-off families, this means staying in a second home, usually in ...

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