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Calendrier mai 2014
Traveling to France in May can be a bit complicated. We have many holidays, and many long weekends.

In France:

  • May 1st is Labor Day (la fête du travail)
  • May 8th is the end of WWII
  • Around mid or end May, we have a Christian holiday, l’Ascension (this year the 29th)
  • and sometimes towards the very end of May, another Christian holiday la Pentecôte (this year it’s in June, the 8th and 9th)

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Now all these wouldn’t be too bad if the French didn’t have this habit of “faire le pont” – literally “to do the bridge.” This means that when a holiday is on a Tuesday or a Thursday, the day which links over to the the weekend is also off (but still paid).

So for example, this year, Leyla’s (our 9 year old daughter) school will be closed on Thursdays AND Fridays three out of the four weeks of the month!

A global impact

This affects schools (read more about the French school system here) and other institutions including banks, museums, and some supermarkets…

And of course it has a tremendous influence on the price of train tickets and the traffic on the roads…. Something to be aware of when planning your trip to France!




“how much does it cost? (to the economy)
“A bag of coal, a pack of beer, lamb sausages, skewers…”
Image credits: Ouest France

Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 19 years in the US, France, and to people around the world over the phone and by Skype . My method is proven and unique, and, based on my students' goals and needs, I've developed high quality French audiobooks and French audio lessons for all levels. Good luck with your studies and remember, repetition is the key!

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