National holidays, Celebrations, and Cultural Events Calendar in France 2021

France counts many national holidays, wonderful cultural events organised nationwide, and just like any other country in the world celebrates mothersday, fathersday, grandparents etc. Summer months on French motorways are also quite notorious! As a resident of France or as a tourist, it's difficult to keep it all straight! That's why at we have created a handy **PRINTABLE** guide to those important days you want to be aware of. You needed this in your life, didn't you? We did!

National holidays, Celebrations, and Cultural Events Calendar in France 2021

1 Jan Friday New Year's Day Nouvel An Public holiday
14 Feb Sunday Valentine's Day St Valentin
16 Feb Tuesday Fat Tuesday Mardis Gras Carnival
7 Mar Sunday Grandmother's Day Fête des Grands-mères Celebration
20 Mar Saturday March Equinox L'équinoxe de mars / Printemps Spring Season begins
28 Mar Sunday Daylight Saving Time starts l'heure d'été Spring FORWARD / Daylight Saving Time
2 Apr Friday Good Friday Vendredi Saint observed at home: eat fish (no meat day)
4 Apr Sunday Easter Sunday Pâques Celebration
5 Apr Monday Easter Monday Lundi de Pâques Public holiday
6-11 April Tue - Sun European Craft Days Journées Européennes des Métiers d’Art An event unique to France to showcase professional training institutions in the professions of art across all French regions and territories. It shows contemporary know-how, inherited from yesterday, reinvented today and mastered by talented professionals, through open-doors and workshops and other events.
22 Apr Thursday Earth Day Jour De La Terre
1 May Saturday Labor Day / May Day Fête du Travail Public holiday
8 May Saturday WWII Victory Day Fête de la Victoire 1945 Public holiday
13 May Thursday Ascension Day Jour de l'Ascension Public holiday
15 May Saturday Night of the Museums Nuit des Musées European Cultural event. In France, the museums are open for free until 1AM
15 May Saturday
European Heritage Days of the Windmills
Journées Européennes des Moulins
European Cultural event. Visit windmills, many privately owned and get a tour. (May not be free but inexpensive)
16 May Sunday
23 May Sunday Whit Sunday Pentecôte Celebration
24 May Monday Whit Monday Pentecôte Monday Public holiday
30 May Sunday Mother's Day Fête des Mères Celebration
5 June Saturday
Day of the Gardens
Journées des Jardins
French cultural event in which public, protected and stunning private gardens are open to admire for free. Many with tours.
6 June Sunday
20 Jun Sunday Father's Day Fête des Pères Celebration
21 Jun Monday Celebrating music Fête de la Musique French cultural event celebrating world music with free concerts all over France and in almost every important village. Musicians and bands volunteer.
21 Jun Monday June Solstice Solstice de juin / l'Eté Summer Season begins
14 Jul Wednesday Bastille Day Fête Nationale Public holiday
15 Aug Sunday Assumption of Mary Assomption Public holiday
18 Sep Saturday
European Heritage Days
Journées Européennes du Patrimoine
European cultural event 3rd weekend of September. Visit historical monuments, chateaux, abbeys etc of which some are not usually open to the public (privately owned) for guided tours (many are free, some charge minimal entry fee)
19 Sep Sunday
22 Sep Wednesday September Equinox L'équinoxe de septembre/ Automne Autumn Season begins
3 Oct Sunday Grandfather's Day Fête des Grands-Pères Celebration
31 Oct Sunday Daylight Saving Time ends Fin de l'heure d'été FALL BACK / Daylight Saving Time
31 Oct Sunday Halloween Halloween Celebration
1 Nov Monday All Saints' Day Toussaint Public holiday
11 Nov Thursday Armistice Day Armistice de 1918 Public holiday
21 Dec Tuesday December Solstice Solstice de décembre / l'Hiver Winter Season begins
24 Dec Friday Christmas Eve Noël soir Evening of Celebration with family and/ or friends
25 Dec Saturday Christmas Day Noël Public holiday
31 Dec Friday New Year's Eve Réveillon de la Saint-Sylvestre or Sylvestre Evening of Celebration with family and/ or friends
In Southern Directions
Fridays and Saturdays from June 25 through 14 August 2021
Orange or red on all routes
***Black Saturdays*** 
31st July and 7th August 2021 everywhere

Saturdays 10th,  17th, 24th July 2021
Red on all routes
Saturday 7th August 2021
Red on all routes
In Northern Directions
Friday - Saturday from  July 9th to August 28th 2021
orange or red all routes
Weekend 30st - 31st July 2021
 orange all routes
Saturday 7th August 2021
red all routes
Weekend Friday 13th August through Monday 16th August 2021
orange everywhere BUT red in direction Rhone valley - Languedoc
Friday 20th, Sunday 22nd. and Monday 23rd August 2021
orange everywhere
Saturday 21st August 2021
red on all routes
Friday 27th August and Sunday 29th August
orange everywhere
Saturday 28th August
red on all routes (last three weekends of August are the worst going north)

2021 Guide to French National Holidays, Celebrations, and Cultural Events, and summer traffic information ©

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