School & Public Bank Holiday Dates in France

Originally posted on & updated on 10th May, 2024

As the summer draws to a close, families and professionals are starting to prepare to return to school and work. This usually means one thing, it’s time to start planning the next holiday or holidays, particularly if you had a miserable British summer.

French schools have five holidays during the year: All Saints ‘autumn’ break, Christmas, winter break, spring holiday (Easter), and the summer holiday. The breaks are usually two weeks except for summer holidays which last eight weeks.

School and Bank Holidays

What is a Jour Férié in France?

Jours fériés are the equivalent of bank holidays in the UK, they start with le Nouvel An (New Years Day) on January 1st with the last one at the end of the year, Christmas Day or Jour de Nöel, naturally on December 25th.

Labour Day, celebrated on May 1st, is the only mandatory non-working day for all employees in France. Work is scheduled for that day only in certain establishments and services, such as hospitals and public transport, where work cannot be interrupted due to the nature of their activity. This day is reserved for rest and relaxation for most workers, and only those in critical industries continue to work. Professionals and employees are entitled Bank Holiday pay after one month’s employment.

Most companies and shops are shut on Bank holidays, if you are travelling or planning to eat out, plan carefully, especially if you have younger / older relatives with you. Check the traffic routes and note bank holidays are often used to create extended three or sometimes, four-day breaks. The French call it Le Pont, or bridge, are the masters at creating extended weekends, it’s a national sport!

Official French Bank Holidays

There are eleven official Bank Holidays most of which are celebrated across the country, here’s the list of all the French ‘jours fériés’:

  • New Year’s Day - January 1st
  • Easter Monday
  • Labor Day - May 1st
  • VE Day Victory 1945 - May 8th
  • Ascension - May 9th
  • Pentecost Monday - May 21st
  • National Day - July 14th
  • Assumption - August 15th
  • All Saints’ Day - November 1st
  • Armistice 1918 - November 11th
  • Christmas - December 25th
  • There’s no Boxing Day

French School Holiday Dates

This year, school will break on 5th July 2024 for the summer holidays (typically eight weeks), after which children and pupils return to the classrooms the first week of September (Monday 2/9 in 2024). The next break is the ‘autumn break’ called All Saints, for 2 weeks, from end of October to the start of November (19th/10 to 4th/11 in 2024). Followed by the ‘vacances de Noel’, or Christmas holidays with schools shutting on 21st of December 2024, to reopen in the New Year on Monday 6th Jan 2025.

Things get a little complicated for the next two holidays, the winter holidays (in February) and easter break (usually April), both for two weeks. To accommodate holiday makers in the cold months, and encourage access to the mountains and winter sports, the country gets split into three zones, to stagger the dates and help with road traffic.

Winter & Easter School Holiday Zones 2024

They are divided into Zone A, Zone B and Zone C, and cover the following academic areas.

ZONE A : Lyon, Bordeaux, Besançon, Clermont-Ferrand, Dijon, Grenoble, Limoges and Poitiers. In 2024, the winter holidays are 17th February until 4th March and the Easter holidays are from 13th until the 29th April.
ZONE B : Aix-Marseille, Lille, Nantes, Rennes, Strasbourg, Amiens, Normandie, Nancy-Metz, Nice, Orléans-Tours and Reims. In 2024, the winter holidays are 24th February until 11th March and the Easter holidays are from 20th April until the 6th May 2024.
ZONE C : Paris, Créteil, Versailles, Montpellier and Toulouse. In 2024, the winter holidays are 10th until 26th February and the Easter holidays are from 6th until the 22nd April 2024.

School Holiday Zones 2024/2025

ZONE A : Lyon, Bordeaux, Besançon, Clermont-Ferrand, Dijon, Grenoble, Limoges and Poitiers. In 2025, the winter holidays are from 22nd February until 10th March, and the Easter holidays are from 19th April until the 5th May.
ZONE B : Aix-Marseille, Lille, Nantes, Rennes, Strasbourg, Amiens, Normandie, Nancy-Metz, Nice, Orléans-Tours and Reims. In 2025, the winter holidays are 24th February until 11th March and the Easter holidays are from 5th until the 22th April.
ZONE C : Paris, Créteil, Versailles, Montpellier and Toulouse. In 2025, the winter holidays are from 15th of February until the 3rd of March, and the Easter holidays are from the 12th until the 28th April.


For more information visit service public with details for the next three years, up to end of 2026. Read our comprehensive guide to learn about other aspects of living and working in France. If you are planning a trip to view properties, we invite you to learn how to find your dream French property.

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