2019 is here - ça se fête !

A very Happy New Year to you all!


Today, New Year's Day, is the first public holiday or jour férié in the 2019 French calendar. This day first became a public holiday in 1810, during the First Empire, under Napoleon Bonaparte. Infact until 1802 and the signing of the Concordat between Bonaparte and the papacy, there were no official public holidays at all.


There are now a total of 11 public holiday days in France and this year all but one will fall on a week day, meaning there could be 9 long weekends!


The 4 of these that fall either on a Monday or on a Friday will make up three-day weekends with the other 5 falling mid-week and therefore presenting the possibility of a 4 or 5 day long break, with many French people choosing to faire le pont, or make the bridge between the holiday and the weekend.

French public holidays in 2019

  • New Year's day - Jour de l'an  Mardi 1er Janvier
  • Easter Monday - Lundi de Pâques Lundi 22 Avril
  • Labour Day - Fête du Travail Mercredi 1er Mai
  • Victory Day - Victoire des alliés Mercredi 8 Mai
  • Ascension - Jeudi de l'Ascension jeudi 30 Mai
  • Pentecoste - Lundi de Pentecôte Lundi 10 Juin
  • Bastille Day - Fête nationale Dimanche 14 Juillet
  • Assumption - Assomption jeudi 15 Août
  • All Saints' Day - La Toussaint vendredi 1er Novembre
  • Armistice Day - Armistice Lundi 11 Novembre
  • Christmas Day - Noël Mercredi 25 Décembre


As with in many other countries, in France it is common for people to set themselves goals or resolutions for the year ahead. If you are working on your shortlist, perhaps you might like to take some inspiration from our series on how the French stick to theirs.


Part 1 - How to lose weight and exercise the French way;

Part 2 - Eat healthily and take up a hobby like our French friends;

Part 3 - See more of friends and family and drink less alcohol 'à la française';

Part 4 - How to stop smoking and stick to other good intentions.


And if you meant to improve your French in 2018 but didn't quite get round to it, you might like to catch up with the 25 free Christmas themed videos that featured in our advent calendar. . .


Of course you might also consider coming to do one of our 2019 French courses, to give your French an extra boost! The first of these start in March, so no need to wait too long!


On vous souhait une très bonne année, à toutes et à tous !