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French Holidays and Celebrations

Learn about French holidays including Bastille Day, la Toussaint, and Chandeleur, as well as the French variations on celebrations like Christmas, Halloween, and New Year's.
  1. Bastille Day (15)
  2. Beaujolais Nouveau (6)
  3. Christmas in France (57)
  4. Halloween in France (6)
  5. Mardi gras (7)
  6. Menton's Lemon Festival (5)
  7. New Year's in France (8)
  8. Nice Carnaval (7)
  9. Poisson d'avril (7)
  10. Valentine's Day (8)

French Birthday Vocabulary
Learn how to say - and sing - happy birthday in French.

Jours fériés
There are a lot of holidays in France, but only 11 are public holidays (bank holidays), called jours fériés in French. On jours fériés, public servants and many public sector employees have the day off from work.

Expressions related to special occasions
Learn some idiomatic French expressions related to holidays and other special occasions.

French-themed celebrations
For Francophiles, any time is a good time to celebrate French, so here are some ideas for a party with some French panache.

French Candlemas - La Chandeleur - Crêpe Day
The Catholic holiday of Candlemas, on 2 February, is a feast to commemorate the purification of the Virgin Mary and the presentation of baby Jesus. In France, this holiday is called la Chandeleur, Fête de la Lumière, or crêpe day.

Easter in France - Pâques
Pâques (Easter) is a holiday celebrated even by many non-practicing French Christians. It features flying bells, blessed branches, and chocolate eggs.

Epiphany and La galette des rois
La galette des rois is a special cake eaten at Epiphany in France.

Fête de la musique
21 June is a celebration of music all over France.

Fête des lumières
Lyon's Fête des lumières (light festival) is one of the most famous events during the French Christmas season. Learn about how it all got started.

Fête du Premier Mai / Fête du Muguet
In France, May 1st is both Labor Day and Lily of the Valley Day.

Hanukkah and Judaism - French Vocabulary
Hanukkah is a Jewish festival of survival and freedom that lasts for eight days. Learn some French vocabulary related to this annual Jewish celebration.

Happy ... in French
Here are all the French phrases you need to spread cheer and good wishes during any holiday.

International Day of Francophonie
Learn about this world holiday, in French or English.

Jour de la Sainte Barbe
4 December is le Jour de la Sainte Barbe and includes notably the planting of blé de la Sainte Barbe.

Kwanzaa - French Vocabulary
Kwanzaa is an annual celebration Learn about some Kwanzaa traditions and the French vocabulary to describe them.

Meilleurs vœux
This French expression is useful all year, but especially during the end-of-year holiday season.

National French Week
Organized by the American Association of Teachers of French (AATF), National French Week is an annual celebration of French language and francophone cultures. AATF organizations, Alliance française branches, and French departments across the country will join in promoting French and everything that goes along with it.

National Holidays and Patriotism - French Vocabulary
In honor of the 4th of July (American Independence Day), Bastille Day (14 July), Canada Day (1 July), and Saint-Jean-Baptiste Day (24 July), here is a list of French vocabulary related to national holidays.

Saints' Days
This page will tell you which saints' days are today - it's automatically updated every day with accurate information.

Thanksgiving - French Vocabulary
Thanksgiving is not celebrated in France, so here is some French vocabulary related to the American holiday.

La Toussaint
Learn about this annual honoring of deceased relatives.

Vive la France !
What does the French expression Vive la France! mean and how is it used?

L'année bissextile
L'année bissextile only comes around every four years, so why not celebrate?

12 Days of French
Hopefully both useful and fun, "12 Days of French" is (rather loosely) based on the song "12 Days of Christmas" and includes practical gift suggestions for French lovers on any gift-giving occasion: Christmas, Chanukah, birthdays....

French Advent Calendar
Celebrate the run up to Christmas with this online French Advent calendar.

French Language Holiday Gift Guide
When it's time to start shopping for the perfect gifts for parents, kids, siblings, aunts & uncles, grandparents, and second cousins once-removed, take a look at this Holiday Gift Guide, with suggested French gifts for kids; beginning, intermediate, and advanced students; translators; and teachers.

Centenaire de l'Aéronautique navale
Air show in Hyères in 2010 commemorating 100 years of French naval aeronautics.

Fête de la Châtaigne
Dans la ville de Collobrières (Var), les châtaignes sont fêtées durant les trois derniers dimanches d'octobre.

Fête de l'Olivier
The southern French town of Ollioules celebrates the olive harvest by holding an Olive Tree Festival every year during the first weekend of October.

Fête des fleurs à Hyères - Photo Gallery
On 5 and 6 April 2008, the southern French city of Hyères hosted its annual flower festival with an open day event at Marche aux fleurs d'Hyères, the largest flower market in France and the fourth largest in Europe. It was a fascinating look at this colorful aspect of the Hyérois community.

Fête des Vins de La Londe
Comparison of the wine tasting events in La Londe and Hyères.

Fête du Citron
Menton's citrus celebration brings tons of citrus and hundreds of thousands of people to town every year.

Fête du vin - Les Vignades
Hyères's annual tasting of dozens of wines from the region is animated by music, dance, and a celebrity host.

Floral'Hyères 2010
In 2010, the first Floral'Hyères was held in downtown Hyères, France. The most spectacular aspect of this biannual celebration was the flower parade, with 10 flower bedecked floats accompanied by singers, dancers, and other performers.

Foire aux plants à Hyères
Even if you don't buy anything, the flower marché is worth a visit.

Foire aux plants à La Londe
Buying flowers at the annual flower marché isn't necessarily cheaper than at a store.

Les Médiévales 2009 à Brignoles
Don't miss this annual weekend celebrating the Middle Ages.

Les vieux métiers de France
Find out about French occupations of yesteryear at this annual festival.

Today in Francophone History
Learn about today's famous francophone birthdays, holidays and celebrations, and other milestones.

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