Paris Holidays


When you’re busily planning your own holiday in Paris, it’s easy to forget that the French calendar is full of national holidays and local festivals that you may not be aware of. Visiting another country during one of its celebratory periods can be great fun, but if you’re not prepared for bigger crowds, potential closures, or shortened hours then it can be a hassle.

Here’s a list of the major national holidays in France as well as some festivals, events, and other holidays in Paris that you should be aware of when you’re planning your own Paris vacation. This isn’t an exhaustive list of all the special events and festivals that take place in Paris throughout a given year, but it covers the big ones. To find out if there’s something going on when you’re in Paris that might not be listed here, stop into any of the Paris tourist information offices when you get to the city.

Notes on how to read the list below:

  • bold = national holidays (banks, businesses, attractions typically closed all day or part of the day)
  • italics = not national holidays, but potentially widely celebrated (sometimes depending on religion)
  • regular text = festivals/events/things to do that aren’t national holidays
  • [brackets] = French name for holiday
  • * = specific non-moveable dates every year

2011 Calendar of Events & Holidays in Paris

Paris in January

mid-Dec through mid-Feb – Outdoor ice skating rinks set up
1 – New Year’s Day [Premier de l’an, Jour de l’an]*
6 – Epiphany [Épiphanie, Fête des Rois]
Jan 12-Feb 15 – Winter Sales [Soldes] throughout France
19-23 – Paris Men’s Fashion Week [Mode à Paris]
24-27 – Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week [Mode à Paris]

Paris in February

mid-Dec through mid-Feb – Outdoor ice skating rinks set up
2-6 – Retro Mobile car show
3 – Chinese New Year (celebrations in the 13th arrondissement)
14 – Valentine’s Day*

Paris in March

1-9 – Paris Ready-to-Wear Fashion Week [Mode à Paris]

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Paris in April

1 – April Fool’s Day [Poisson d’Avril]*
Apr 2-May 30 – Trône Fair [Foire du Trône]
10 – Paris Marathon [Marathon de Paris]
24 – Easter Sunday [Pâques]
25 – Easter Monday [Lundi de Pâques]
Apr 28-May 8 – Paris Fair [Foire de Paris]

Paris in May

Apr 28-May 8 – Paris Fair [Foire de Paris]
Apr 2-May 30 – Trône Fair [Foire du Trône]
1 – Workers/Labor Day [Fête du Travail]*
8 – Victory in Europe Day [Victoire 1945]*
15 – Museum Night [La Nuit des Musées]
May 17-Jun 5 – French Open
May 20-Jul 3 – Saint Germain Fair [Foire Saint-Germain]

Paris in June

May 17-Jun 5 – French Open
May 20-Jul 3 – Saint Germain Fair [Foire Saint-Germain]
2 – Ascension Day [Ascension]
12 – Whit Sunday [Pentecôte]
13 – Whit Monday [Lundi de Pentecôte]
20-26 – Paris Air Show
21 – Paris Music Festival [Fête de la Musique]*
Jun 22-Jul 27 – Summer Sales [Soldes] throughout France
23-26 – Paris Men’s Fashion Week [Mode à Paris]
25 – Gay Pride Parade [Marche des Fiertes LGBT]

Paris in July

Jul-Aug – Paris Plage
May 20-Jul 3 – Saint Germain Fair [Foire Saint-Germain]
Jun 22-Jul 27 – Summer Sales [Soldes] throughout France
2-24 – Tour de France
2-13 – Paris Cinema International Film Festival [Festival Paris Cinéma]
4-7 – Paris Haute Couture Fashion Week [Mode à Paris]
14 – Bastille Day [14 Juillet, Fête Nationale]*
Jul 19-Aug 21 – Outdoor Movies at Parc de la Villette [Cinéma en plein air]

Paris in August

Jul-Aug – Paris Plage
Jul 19-Aug 21 – Outdoor Movies at Parc de la Villette [Cinéma en plein air]
15 – Assumption Day [Assomption]*
26-28 – Festival Rock en Seine

Paris in September

Sep-Dec – Paris Autumn Festival [Festival d’Automne à Paris]
11-12 – European Patrimony Days [Journées Europeennes du Patrimoine]
Sep 27-Oct 5 – Paris Ready-to-Wear Fashion Week [Mode à Paris]

Paris in October

Sep-Dec – Paris Autumn Festival [Festival d’Automne à Paris]
6-10 – Salon de la Photo
TBA – White Night [Nuit Blanche]
TBA – Paris Chocolate Festival [Salon du Chocolat]
31 – Halloween at Disneyland Paris*

Paris in November

Sep-Dec – Paris Autumn Festival [Festival d’Automne à Paris]
1 – All Saint’ Day [Toussaint]*
11 – Armistice/Veterans/Remembrance [Armistice 1918]*
17 – Beaujolais Nouveau Festival
17-20 – Paris Photo
TBA – Illumination of Champs-Elysees Christmas lights
TBA – Start of Paris Christmas markets

Paris in December

Sep-Dec – Paris Autumn Festival [Festival d’Automne à Paris]
TBA – Paris Christmas markets
mid-Dec through mid-Feb – Outdoor ice skating rinks set up
25 – Christmas Day [Noël]*

photo by slasher-fun