Happy New Year. It may surprise you to know that with Christmas Day 2011 and New Year’s Day 2012 both falling on a Sunday, we didn’t have a Public Holiday in France on Boxing Day or on Monday 2nd January. The vineyard team worked all the way through, with no additional time off.
But France will more than make up for it in 2012, and the following dates may be useful to bear in mind if you’re planning to come to France or do business here.
Unlike the UK, where Bank or Public Holidays are on Mondays (except for Royal occasions), French public holidays are based on the actual date. This can be a double-edged sword.
The French often like to bridge, or faire le pont*, to make a long weekend of it if the official Public Holiday falls on a Tuesday or a Thursday. I’ve included these unofficial days in the table below.
|French Public Holidays 2012||UK Public Holidays 2012|
|No holiday on Good Friday||Good Friday, 6th April|
|Easter Sunday, 8th April||(Easter Sunday, 8th April)|
|Easter Monday, 9th April
||Easter Monday, 9th April|
|Monday, 30th April, unofficial ‘pont’*|
|Tuesday, 1st May, Fête de Travail/May day|
|Monday, 7th May, unofficial ‘pont’*||Monday, 7th May, May Bank Holiday|
|Tuesday, 8th May, VE Day|
|Thursday, 17th May, Ascension|
|Friday, 18th May, unofficial ‘pont’*|
|Monday, 28th May, Pentecost|
|Monday, 4th June, Spring Bank Holiday|
|Tuesday, 5th June, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee|
|Saturday, 14th July, Bastille Day|
|Wednesday, 15th August, Assumption|
|Monday, 27th August, Summer Holiday|
|Thursday, 1st November, All Saints|
|Friday, 2nd November, unofficial ‘pont’*|
|Sunday, 11th November, Armistice Day|
|Monday, 24th December, unofficial ‘pont’*|
|Tuesday, 25th December, Christmas||Tuesday, 25th December, Christmas|
|Wednesday, 26th December, Boxing Day|
For us, then, the first half of May is almost a write-off for getting things done. And I reckon the Bordeaux 2011 en primeur campaign will be dramatically impacted, for better or worse. More on this anon.