French public holidays in November: All Saints Day & Armistice Day.

Welcome, November! France celebrates two public holidays in the month of November and we are going to introduce both of them to you today: The first one is All Saints’ Day or Toussaint, which falls on November 1 and the second one is the Armistice Day or Jour d’armistice, falling on November 11.

La Toussaint, All Saints’ Day in France but also in many other parts of the world, marks a halfway between the summer and Christmas. For French Catholics, it is a special time honor the dead. Families gather to visit cemeteries, light a candle and put flowers on the graves. Most typical flower for this tradition is chrysanthemum. The most famous and also the largest cemetery in Paris is the Pere Lachaise Cemetery, opened in 1804, with an area of 44 hectares and more than 70,000 burial spots.

Many of its graves have been listed as historic monuments with some of the most significant French figures lying here, such as Molière, Edith Piaf or even Jim Morrison. Even though it may sound creepy, this is a beautiful, historic and peaceful place to have a weekend stroll in autumn in Paris. 

The Armistice Day is a French public holiday on November 11, commemorating the signing of the peace treaty between Germany and the Allies which led to the ceasefire and finally putting an end to World War I in 1918. This day is also celebrated in other countries around the world, among them for example Canada, Germany or the UK. The same day is celebrated also in the United States, known as the Veterans Day. The day is celebrated as a victorious day, but is at the same time observed in honor to the war veterans and people who lost their lives during the war. One minute of silence is held each year on this day at 11 AM, which is the time when on Nov 11, 1918, the armistice came info effect.


Military parades are organized across the whole country for the rest of the day. Traditionally, French president lays down a wreath of the unknown soldier at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris with more than 60 other heads of states gathered to pay their respects. Now that you know more about these two November holidays in France, and you happen to be in Paris, go take a walk around the Pere Lachaise and make sure to watch the parades around the Arc de Triomphe! 

Article by Dominika - Thank you for your contribution

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