Five long weekends and more: see other 2024 changes in France

Major war commemorations are being planned in Normandy, the Michelin guide unveils a new 'key' award, and rule changes are on the way for sales of pets

Families will be able to take advantage of up to five long weekends in 2024

We end our ‘changes in 2024’ list of articles by looking at a miscellaneous group of changes, including five long weekends and the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Normandy.

Five long weekends

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

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

In addition, two further holidays will fall on a Thursday, allowing workers to faire le pont, and take an extended weekend break.

In May, bank holidays will fall on the 1st, 8th, 9th, and 20th (although Pentecost is not always given as a bank holiday to workers).

Read more: Five long weekends in France for many workers in 2024

D-Day Landings

THE 80th anniversary of D-Day and the Battle of Normandy is from June 1 to 16. Normandy Tourism promises “an unprecedented programme”, including a firework display on June 1 over the five landing beaches.

An artistic installation of 1,475 silhouettes will also be on show from spring onwards at the British Normandy Memorial in Ver-sur-Mer, representing British deaths
on June 6, 1944.

An international ceremony on June 6 is expected to be attended by heads of state and surviving veterans.

Tabacs can sell hunting ammunition

Some tabac shops are to be allowed to start selling hunting ammunition from January 1, including shotgun shells and smoothbore cartridges.

Owners will need to complete a short course to do so.

Read more: French tabacs to sell ammunition for hunting

New rules on pet sales

Animaleries – high street pet shops – will no longer be able to sell cats and dogs, from this year, apart from ‘rescue’ animals in partnership with animal shelters.

They will still be able to sell other small animals such as rabbits, mice, etc.

Gun ownership

January 1 is the – delayed – deadline for people who hunt with guns to declare firearm ownership on a website, with other gun owners having to declare by dates later in the year. These deadlines have been put back several times.

You can create an account here. You will need your hunting licence and proof of address and identity.

Read more: How to declare possession of a gun in France

New Michelin ‘key’ for hotels

The Michelin Guide, best known for its prestigious star awards for fine-dining restaurants, is improving its coverage of hotels and launching a new award for the world’s best.

It will give key symbols to hotels that are “a destination in themselves”, “bring the art of hosting to its highest level” and offer guests “unique experiences”.

The hotels’ staff should be dedicated and highly skilled.

As with restaurants, the awards will be given after one or more anonymous visits.

Read more: Michelin Guide to include exceptional French hotels

Boost for pony clubs

Horse and pony clubs in France have received a “breath of fresh air” after the government confirmed that their VAT rate would drop from 20% to 5.5%, in a bid to “preserve and support” the tradition.

This may mean there will not be any price increases for stable hire or riding lessons.

Read more: Boost for horse and pony clubs in France

Tour Montparnasse

The Tour Montparnasse – Paris’ largest skyscraper – should finally start four years of renovations this year.

These were originally expected between 2019 and 2023, but have been delayed until after the Olympics.

Leap year

The year 2024 is an année bissextile – a leap year, so will include February 29 (a Thursday).