French Bank Holidays and supermarket opening – does it affect you?
Just a quick post to advise that most supermarkets in France are still closed on Sundays and those that are open only stay open until Noon.
What’s more if the holiday date is say a Thursday the French have their own option of ‘Faire le pont’… so when a Public Holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday, it is very common to take the Friday or Monday off to create a long weekend (“Faire le pont”). Many businesses, especially the smaller ones may therefore closed for the entire period.
So If you are heading out fishing and planning to buy your food for the week at the local supermarkets after your arrival on the Saturday don’t get caught out. There’s nothing worse than being hungry, and you’ll need your strength for hauling all those carp as any foodie appreciates. So here is some helpful information to keep you aware.
With the exception of those associated with Easter, Public Holidays in France are fixed. In other words, Public Holidays do not move to attach themselves to the nearest weekend as in the UK.
However, French Public Holidays falling on a Sunday are celebrated on the following Monday with the exception of Easter Sunday and Whit Sunday, which always fall on a Sunday. No time off in lieu is granted when a Public Holiday falls on a Saturday as it is in the UK.
The French enjoy 11 national ‘jours feriés’ (holidays) annually, and during the month of May, there is a holiday nearly every week, so be prepared for stores, banks and museums to shut their doors for days at a time. Bakers generally will operate a limited morning service as they do on Sundays. Restaurants can be relied upon to respond to the market demand so opening will depend upon place and season.
Most offices, businesses and shops in France will close for a Public Holiday although the smaller supermarkets in many towns will open for a couple of hours in the morning.
French Bank Holiday dates 2011 & 2012
|New Year’s Day||1 Jan||1 Jan|
|Good Friday||22 Apr||6 Apr|
|Easter Sunday||24 Apr||8 Apr|
|Easter Monday||25 Apr||9 Apr|
|Labour Day||1 May||1 May|
|WWII Victory Day||8 May||8 May|
|Ascension Day||2 Jun||17 May|
|Pentecost||12 Jun||3 Jun|
|Whit Monday||13 Jun||4 Jun|
|Bastille Day||14 Jul||14 Jul|
|Assumption of the Virgin Mary||15 Aug||15 Aug|
|All Saints’ Day||1 Nov||1 Nov|
|Armistice Day||11 Nov||11 Nov|
|Christmas Day||25 Dec||25 Dec|
|2nd day of Christmas||26 Dec||26 Dec|