What’s coming up? The week ahead in France

This week brings a public holiday, a dip in temperatures, a quit smoking campaign, an international food and wine festival and more

We look at what the week ahead has in store for people in France
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[Update November 1 at 08:00 - The government has now announced that fines will not be handed out for non-compliance with winter tyre rules until at least the end of 2022.]

Toussaint public holiday

November 1 marks Toussaint (All Saints’ Day) in France, which is a public holiday.

Many people faire le pont (make a bridge) between the weekend and Toussaint by taking today (October 31) as a holiday day so some shops or services may be closed or reduced.

Read more: Faire le pont: How to get a four day weekend in France

All Saints’ Day is followed by All Souls’ Day, an occasion on which people traditionally visit the graves of loved ones who have passed away.

However, the fact that November 1 is a public holiday means that many people will also go on Tuesday to lay flowers and reflect.

Read also: Why chrysanthemums are the French ‘flower of the dead’

Lower temperatures expected this week

Lower temperatures, accompanied by rain and strong winds, are expected to arrive in France this week after a month of October defined by record-breaking warm weather.

Read more: This October set to be warmest on record in France

Four departments in northwestern France – Finistère, Morbihan, Côtes-d’Armor and Manche – will be under an orange alert for high winds tonight between 21:00 and 03:00, with gusts of 110-130km/h expected on the coast and 90-110km/h inland.

Read more: Areas of Brittany and Normandy under alert tonight for violent winds

On Tuesday (November 1), the wind is set to spread across the north of France, with gusts of 60km/h forecast in Reims and Metz and 70km/h in Lille and Amiens.

The wind will also linger over Brittany, reaching 80km/h in Brest before conditions calm on Wednesday.

The blustery conditions will be joined by a slight drop in temperatures, although it will still feel warmer than what is usual for the season.

Read more: Areas of Brittany and Normandy under alert tonight for violent winds

Lower-cost Netflix subscription launches in France

Netflix announced in October that it would be launching a new lower-cost subscription including advertisements between programmes.

This plan will be available from November 3 and will cost €5.99 per month.

Customers signing up to this subscription should note that they will only be able to access 85% of Netflix’s current catalogue of films and series. The remaining 15% do not come with the right to advertise.

However, Netflix’s most famous series – including The Crown, La Casa de Papel, Bridgerton, Squid Game and Stranger Things – will be accessible.

Advertising will take up four to five minutes in each hour of viewing, and is expected to be split into 30 seconds before the start of a half-hour series episode, plus 60 seconds during the episode.

Children’s programmes will not include advertisements.

Le Mois sans tabac begins

Smokers in France are invited in November to take part in the Mois sans tabac (Month without tobacco) to help them try to quit.

Participants can sign up to the website and find tools and advice that they can use to overcome their addiction.

This is the seventh year of Mois sans tabac. The government states that after 30 days without a cigarette, cravings are considerably reduced and the chances of stopping definitively are five times higher than they were at the start of the month.

Foire Internationale et Gastronomique de Dijon

On November 1, the Foire Internationale et Gastronomique de Dijon will begin at the city’s Parc des Expositions.

Until November 13, visitors will be able to move though several different themed sections, including furniture and beauty stalls, a mini farm, gastronomical demonstrations and more.

For this 101st edition of the Foire, the theme is ‘wine’, with grapes from all of France and around the world taking centre stage.

There will also be several different culinary competitions taking place, including contests surrounding baking, young chefs, patisserie and even ham.

You can find out more about the Foire here.

Winter tyre rules enforced

From November 1 until March 31, people driving in mountainous areas where winter tyre/snow chain requirements are in place will risk a fine of €135 if they do not comply with the rules.

Read more: Reminder: Winter tyre rules enforced in French mountains from November

This is because of the Loi Montagne, which applies to 48 French departments. These departments can choose to implement the rules across their whole area, only in certain communes or not at all.

In participating departments, cars, vans, buses and lorries are all concerned, with the only exception being cars fitted with studded tyres.

Vehicles such as cars, camper vans and vans can either use four winter tyres or, failing this, carry fabric socks or metal snow chains in their boot.

Winter tyre laws came into effect last year but drivers were given a grace period, meaning that penalties will only be enforceable this winter.

Some 34 departments have decided to enforce the rules across some or all of their area this year. You can find out more about the specific communes affected here.

La Route du Rhum begins

Sunday (November 6) marks the beginning of the Route du Rhum, a transatlantic, single-handed yacht race in which competitors sail between Saint Malo (Brittany) and Point-à-Pitre in Guadeloupe.

The first competition was held in 1978, and the current record for the crossing is seven days, 14 hours, 21 minutes and 47 seconds, which was set on November 11, 2018.

The first yachts began arriving in October 25, and thousands of people have been visiting the town to see the boats being prepared to cross the Atlantic.

Trêve hivernale begins

France’s trêve hivernale, which bans landlords from evicting tenants over the winter months, will begin on November 1. It will end on March 31, 2023.

This also means that energy producers cannot cut off a client’s electricity or gas if they fail to pay their bills although they can reduce electrical voltage.

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