May is a very good month for schoolchildren and workers in general as there is at least one day off work ( un jour férié) for almonst every week of the month!
First of all is May 1st ( le premier mai), labour day ( le jour des travailleurs) where workers can rest or demonstrate through the streets of various towns. The demonstrations ( les manifestations) are organized by the trade unions ( les syndicats). What is really good is if the 1st May is on a Tuesday (un mardi), a lot of workers have Monday off ( lundi) as well, to bridge the gap ( faire le pont) between Sunday ( dimanche) and Tuesday ( mardi) or if it is on a Thursday ( un jeudi), guess what? On fait le pont, no work on Friday ( vendredi) !
Then the 8th May ( le 8 mai) which was the end of the Second world War ( la fin de la seconde guerre mondiale) and, of course the same system applies. There are commerations all over France to remember all those who died.
And then Ascension day ( l’ascension) which is a Christian celebration, Jesus ascending after his resurrection, forty days after Easter ( Pâques), it is always on a Thursday, this year, it was on 14th May: another pont!
Life is tough in France in May……
If you would like to find out more about French customs, join one of our French courses, we are enrolling at Alliance Française de Bristol for our short French intensive courses taking place in June and July. For more info…
Answer to last week’s riddle: The place described was Blackpool in England.