9V6RJ3rpFgRWRKz9atzwHWSEAzE Useful Articles Hard To Ignore: Five Movable French Public Holidays

Friday, February 10, 2012

Five Movable French Public Holidays

Most countries have public holidays whose dates are movable. That is, they are not fixed to a specific day of the calendar year. In France, they have thirteen public holidays, five of which have movable dates. These are as follows:

1. Pâques (Easter) - This is the most important religious celebration in France, and is in fact considered the holiest day in the Christian calendar. The day is a commemoration of Christ's resurrection and marks the end of Lent.

Based on the Christian liturgical year, Easter is celebrated on the Sunday after the first full moon on or after the day of the occurrence of the vernal equinox. By simple definition, vernal equinox is a specific time of the year when day and night are about the same in duration.

Doing away with such technical terms, France will celebrate Easter on these dates of the next five years: April 4, 2010, April 24, 2011, April 8, 2012, March 31, 2013, and April 20, 2014.

2. Lundi de Pâques (Easter Monday) - This is actually an extra public holiday in France as well as in some other Christian countries. Understandably, this celebration moves in relation to the moving date of Pâques. For the next five years, therefore, France will celebrate Easter Monday on the following dates: April 5, 2010, April 25, 2011, April 9, 2012, April 1, 2013, and April 21, 2014.

3. L'Ascencion (Ascension Day) - In the Christian doctrine, Jesus, following his resurrection, ascended to Heaven in the presence of his eleven disciples. While some countries observe this holy day on the immediate Sunday forty days after Easter, France retained the traditional Christian celebration of the Thursday that is exactly the 40th day from Easter.

Hence, France will celebrate l'Ascencion every year, from 2010 to 2014, on these dates: May 13, 2010, June 2, 2011, May 17, 2012, May 9, 2013, and May 29, 2014.

4. Pentecôte (Pentecost) - The Pentecost, which is also called Whitsun, is another important religious feast in the Christian calendar. It is the commemoration of the descent of the Holy Spirit upon Jesus' eleven disciples. Observance of this feast is on the seventh Sunday after Easter.

Because it always falls on a Sunday, the Pentecost is automatically a public holiday. In France, la Pentecôte will be observed in the next five years, beginning 2010, on these dates: May 23, 2010, June 12, 2011, May 27, 2012, May 19, 2013, and June 8, 2014.

5. Lundi de Pentecôte (Whit Monday) - This is another extra public holiday in France. It is observed on the Monday immediately following la Pentecôte. Therefore, France will observe Whit Monday on these dates: May 24, 2010, June 13, 2011, May 28, 2012, May 20, 2013, and June 9, 2014.

In the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine, Good Friday is also observed as a public holiday. The two provinces' dates of celebration of this holy day are on April 2, 2010, April 22, 2011, April 6, 2012, March 29, 2013, and April 18, 2014.

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