Faire le pont – Long weekends French Style

May 7th, 2012

Faire le pont means literally to make a bridge but this term refers specifically to bridging to a national holiday.  For instance May 1st, a holiday through much of Europe, fell on a Tuesday this year.  So many folks took Monday as a vacation day, bridging to the Tuesday holiday and giving them a 4-day weekend.  If May 1st had been on Wednesday, no ‘pont’.

There are 3 national holidays in May in France (May 1st = Labor Day, May 8th = Victory in Europe – WWII, and May 17th = Ascension).  And this year the French got really, really lucky since the first two fall on a Tuesday and the 3rd will be a Thursday.  That translates into three 4-day weekends this month for many of the French!  Add to that the Monday after Pentecost for a 3-day weekend.  Great for those who can do it, tough for businesses (unless you’re in the tourism/travel sector)!


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