What’s coming up during this week in France (May 23)

This week sees prime minister Élisabeth Borne’s first cabinet meeting, the end of the Festival de Cannes, France’s Garden Birdwatch weekend, a bank holiday and more

We look at events occurring in France this week
Published Last updated

We look at events coming up in France this week.

Élisabeth Borne to hold first Conseil des ministres meeting as prime minister

France’s new prime minister, Élisabeth Borne, is chairing her first Conseil des ministres cabinet meeting with her government’s newly appointed ministers today (May 23).

Read more: Élisabeth Borne: Six facts about France’s new prime minister

Olivia Grégoire, the spokesperson for this new government, will later today give a press conference covering the key points decided during the meeting.

Read more: Who is in France’s new government? Ministers revealed

Before the meeting began, Ms Borne officially passed the title of labour minister over to her replacement, Olivier Dussopt, telling him that “full employment will act as your compass. You can count on my unfailing support from Matignon [the prime minister’s residence and office].”

On the agenda today include issues relating to the principal priorities of President Emmanuel Macron’s reelection campaign: education, health, climate strategy and tackling inflation.

Ahead of the Conseil des ministres meeting, President Macron stated: "The government has been formed to act and bring our country together"

Bank holiday on Thursday

People in France and Monaco will enjoy a bank holiday this Thursday (May 26) for Ascension Day.

Ascension Day falls between April 30 and June 3 every year, but is always 40 days after Easter Sunday and so always a Thursday.

It marks the ascension of Christ into heaven, 40 days after his resurrection.

Mother’s Day is this Sunday in France

This Sunday (May 29) is Mother’s Day (la fête des Mères) in France, which normally falls on the last weekend in May.

Although it carries the same sentiment, Mother’s Day does not take place on the same day in France, the UK or the US.

France has been celebrating Mother’s Day since World War One, when the city of Lyon created an occasion on which to honour the mothers and wives who had lost sons and husbands during the conflict.

The Monaco Grand Prix

Formula 1 drivers will be fighting it out in Monaco this weekend (May 27-29), following Max Verstappen’s victory at the Barcelona Grand Prix yesterday (May 22).

Verstappen’s Monegasque title rival Charles Leclerc had been leading the race, but was forced to retire because of an engine failure.

Leclerc has said that: “I hope I will be able to see the chequered flag next week,” after his recent disappointments.

However, the Monaco track has been said to be “cursed” for the 24-year-old driver because he has experienced issues there every year since 2017.

Festival de Cannes draws to a close

This year’s 75th Cannes Film Festival will come to an end on Saturday (May 28).

In its first week, the Festival hosted the premiere for Top Gun: Maverick, causing Tom Cruise to attend for the first time in three decades.

It has also been interrupted by several protesters, including groups of women denouncing France’s femicide rate and the sexual violence which has allegedly taken place in Ukraine.

At the Holy Spider premiere yesterday (May 22), protesters let off black smoke and held up a banner reading: “129 femicides since the last Cannes festival.”

In Holy Spider, which is loosely based on a true story, a female journalist investigates the killings of several sex workers by a serial killer in the Iranian city of Mashhad.

Garden Birdwatch: Count the birds visiting your garden this weekend

This weekend will also be an opportunity to take part in a Garden Birdwatch event organised by the French League for the Protection of Birds (LPO).

Participants are encouraged to watch their garden, balcony or even an area within a park for one hour in the late morning or early afternoon of Saturday (May 28) or Sunday (May 29), and note down all the birds which appear there.

Your results can then be recorded on the Observatoire des oiseaux des jardins website, where you can also find information helping you to identify the birds you see.

You can find out more about the Garden Birdwatch on the LPO website.

It should be noted that you should only record the birds which stop in your garden or equivalent, and not those which are simply flying overhead.

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