France: Holidays and Events
There are a number of public holidays that do not have a fixed date, but are based on the location of Easter. Easter takes place on the first Sunday that follows the first full moon after the beginning of spring. Ash Wednesday, the beginning of Lent, which ends on Holy Saturday, is 46 days before Holy Saturday.
The date for Pentecost is then 50 days after Easter. The Corpus Christi festival is celebrated on the 2nd Thursday after Pentecost. All Saints' Day is celebrated for Orthodox Christians on the 1st Sunday after Pentecost, but for Catholic Christians the date is fixed on November 1st.
On October 31, Protestants celebrate Reformation Day. The Halloween festival also takes place on this day.
|January 1||New Year|
|March April||Easter Monday|
|1st of May||May Day|
|8th of May||Armistice Day 1945|
|April May||Ascension of Christ|
|April May||Whit Monday|
|July 14||National holiday|
|15th of August||Assumption Day|
|November 1||All Saints Day|
|November 11||Armistice Day 1918|
|25 December||1st Christmas Holiday|
Source: Countryaah - France Holidays
In France there are over 400 noteworthy events every year. The French Tourist Office provides information about the festivals and events. Here are some dates:
- In St-Trojan-les-Bains the Mimosa Festival takes place every year with a colorful parade.
- The citrus fruit festival is celebrated in Menton.
- The Nice Carnival is celebrated for 12 days in late February to early March.
- A crime film festival is being held in Cognac.
- Good Friday procession in Perpignan
- Catamaran competition in Carnac.
- In Orleans on April 29th and May 7th and 8th, Joan of Arc and the end of the British occupation will be commemorated.
- Fetes des Gardians in Arles. At the festival in the Camargue, horses are blessed and bullfights are held.
- Cannes Film Festival.
- International sailing week in La Rochelle.
- On May 24th and 25th, Sint and Roma from all over the world will meet in Saintes-Maries-de-la-Mer and celebrate their patron saint, Saint Sarah.
- Feria de Nimes with bullfighting, theater, folklore and music.
- Festival of Tarasque in Tarascon. A four day celebration with traditions and customs from Provence.
- Festival d'Avignon from early July to early August with theater, music and art.
- Aix-en-Provence hosts the Festival of Poetry and Music throughout July.
- The national holiday on July 14th is celebrated with a large parade in Paris and many parades across the country.
- The Festival de Cornouaille in Quimper is a great Celtic folk festival.
- Jazz Festival in Salon-de-Provence.
- During the festival in Beaucaire from July 21st to 28th, 100 bulls chase through the whole village.
- An exhibition of old sailing ships takes place in Douarnenez in Brittany.
- Mule race in Seyne-les-Alpes.
- Folk festivals and parades take place on Assumption Day on August 15th
- American Film Festival in Deauville.
- Jazz Festival in Toulouse.
- Military ceremony on November 11th on the anniversary of the 1918 armistice at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris.
- "Les Trois Glorieuses" wine festival in Burgundy.
- From the end of November to December 31st there is a market for nativity figuresin Marseille.
The Tour de France is the most important cycling race in the world and lasts three weeks. It has been driven in France since 1903 and ends in the capital Paris. The race leads in 20-23 stages over 3,500 to 4,000 km. The winner of the individual classification wears the yellow jersey, the fastest sprinter wears the green and the winner of the mountain classification wears a white jersey with red dots.
In the south of France bullfighting takes place in a bloodless form. The goal is not to kill the bull, but to tear paper flowers attached between its horns from it.
The Paris-Dakar auto rally starts annually in Paris in January.
The bicycle world cup race from Paris to Roubaix takes place annually in April. In October the race goes from Paris to Tours.
The Grand Tournoi, the five-nation rugby tournament, takes place in Paris in June.
The Marathon de Paris takes place at the end of April.
In October in Paris the winner of the most important horse race in the world will be crowned with the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe.
The French Open is a world-famous tennis tournament and is held annually in Paris.
The climate in France varies greatly depending on the region.
In the north there is generally a temperate climate, with the north-west being more oceanic and the north-east having a continental climate. There is frequent rainfall and summers are often cool and humid, while winters are more moderate.
The following table shows a range of climate data for the country. Because of the very different climate zones and the fact that the values are averaged over years, only very limited statements about the weather to be expected can of course be made.
|Month||Average number of rainy days||Mean maximum temperatures in (°C)||Mean minimum temperatures in (°C)|
In France, people kiss each other on the cheeks to greet them and to say goodbye. It can vary from region to region from two kisses to four kisses. This is now also common in Germany. Otherwise, behavior in France hardly differs from that in Germany.