May: Celebrations and Holidays in France Tumu Learning

May: Celebrations and Holidays in France

In France, May is the month of spring cleaning and celebration; here are some of the most important holidays, festivals, and celebrations that take place in May.

Bird and flowers picture

Fête du travail (May 1 Labour Day)

May 1 Labour Day is a national holiday in France, and it is also known as the "1st of May." Despite the fact that it is not an official public holiday, the government frequently publishes regulations that require businesses to close for the day. The origins of May 1st date back to the 1880s, when a socialist movement was gaining traction among workers.

La Fête du Muguet (May Day)

Another celebration on May 1st is La Fête du Muguet [faet du muy] (May Day), which marks the beginning of the spring season. It is mostly observed on May 1 in continental France, although it is also observed in other nations throughout the world. The term stems from the custom of giving one's sweetheart a muguet ("lily of the valley").

Fête de la Victoire (May 8 Victoria Day)

On May 8, 1945, Germany signed its unconditional surrender to end World War II on Europe’s Western Front. The armistice was signed at Rheims by General Alfred Jodl, ending Germany’s defeat by the Allies. Although called Victory Day in English, it is officially known as Fête de la Victoire (Victory Celebrations) in French.

Jour de l'Ascension (May 26 Ascension Day)

Commemorates Jesus’s ascension into heaven 40 days after his resurrection. Ascension Day is a public holiday in France. Banks, post offices, and many businesses are closed on Ascension Day. Transportation, mail services, and stores are also usually closed on Ascension Day.

Fête des Mères (May 29 Mother's Day)

A woman holding a baby

On May 29th, it's time to show your mother just how much you appreciate her. Take her out for a meal at one of Nice's best restaurants or get her something special from around town to let her know she'll always be your biggest fan. If you're looking for a way to say thank you to all mothers across France, find ways to show appreciation that are meaningful but not materialistic.

About the author

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Stephanie has a knack for making language learning and teaching fun and engaging. She holds a Master of Arts and a Bachelor's Degree in French Studies and is fluent in three languages. The writer has lived in France, Ghana, and Canada, and enjoys reading, travelling, and writing about her adventures.

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