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Calendrier mai 2015
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 14th)
  • and sometimes towards the very end of May, another Christian holiday la Pentecôte (this year it’s May 25)

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 Thursday the 14th (Ascension) and Friday the 15th – because it “forms a bridge” to the weekend.

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 and Calendrier-365.fr

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Camille Chevalier-Karfis

Born and raised in Paris, I have been teaching today's French to adults for 20 years in the US and France. Based on my students' goals and needs, I've created unique downloadable French audiobooks focussing on French like it's spoken today, for all levels. Most of my audiobooks are recorded at several speeds to help you conquer the modern French language. Good luck with your studies and remember, repetition is the key!

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