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Five long weekends in France for many workers in 2024

There is also the possibility for a five-day weekend using only one day of holiday

A calendar showing 2024’s months

Workers will lose only one of France’s 11 public holidays due to it falling on a weekend Pic: Tama2u / Shutterstock

The 2024 calendar will see French workers have five three-day weekends over the course of the year, thanks to the fortunate timing of public holidays. 

Alongside the usual three-day weekends on Easter (Easter Monday is a bank holiday) and Pentecost (Whit Monday), three other public holidays will fall on Monday or Friday in 2024. 

On top of this, two further holidays will fall on a Thursday, allowing workers to faire le pont, and take an extended weekend break.

Public holidays in France that fall on a weekend do not get rolled over but are lost – thankfully, only the 14 July (La fête nationale or Bastille Day) falls on a weekend in 2024, meaning 10 of the 11 holidays will be given. 

Three-day weekends spread throughout year

In France, all holidays (except Easter) fall on fixed days in the year, and do not move like UK ‘bank holidays’ in May and August.

France has more public holidays than in the UK, but some are always lost as they fall on the weekend, and are not rolled over.

The full list of French holidays for 2024 are below: 

  • Monday January 1 (New Year’s Day) 
  • Monday April 1 (Easter Monday)
  • Wednesday May 1 (Labour Day) 
  • Wednesday May 8 (Allied Victory Day)
  • Thursday May 9 (Ascension)
  • Monday May 20 (Pentecost/Whit Monday)
  • Sunday July 14 (La fête nationale or Le 14 Juillet - France’s national day) 
  • Thursday August 15 (Assumption) 
  • Friday November 1 (All Saint’s Day) 
  • Monday November 11 (Armistice Day) 
  • Wednesday December 25 (Christmas) 

The three-day weekend will be spread throughout the year, falling in January, April, May, and twice in November. 

On top of this, in Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin and Moselle Easter Friday (Friday March 29) and Boxing Day/St Stephen’s Day (Thursday December 26) are classed as public holidays. 

One day of holiday for a five-day weekend 

On top of the five three-day weekends, one opportunity to faire le pont – taking one holiday day on a Monday or Friday to have a four-day weekend with a public holiday on a Tuesday or Thursday – is possible next year.

It can be done in August with the Assumption holiday, which falls on a Thursday, although many people will already be taking summer holidays at this point.

It will also be possible to have a five-day weekend in May, by only taking one holiday day.

If you take Friday May 10 off, you will have an uninterrupted stretch of five days off of work – the May 8 and 9 public holidays, your day of annual leave, and then the weekend of May 11 and 12.

If you take other working days off in the beginning of May (May 2, May 3, May 6, May 7) alongside May 10, you could have 12 consecutive days off of work using only five days of annual leave thanks to how close the May holidays fall.

Read also: Tax bills, traffic, school aid: Important dates in France this August

Is Pentecost a holiday?

The public holiday at the end of May – Pentecost, or Whit Monday – is often chosen as the Journée de solidarité (Solidarity Day). 

A law was passed where workers in France would work for additional day without pay, with their wages for the day instead being allocated to a fund to help elderly people in the country, after a heatwave in 2003 that killed around 15,000 elderly French people

It is not mandatory to make this additional day the Pentecost public holiday, but many companies choose this date.

Alternative measures to working the Pentecost holiday include giving up a day of additional RTT, working on a saturday, or working two extra minutes per day throughout the year to make up the additional time.

Read also

Whit Monday: France’s most confusing bank holiday

Replace religious holidays with secular ones, suggests French mayor

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