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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

May in Paris

You gotta love the month of May in France - it's full of holidays. Especially this year when the political holidays are added to religious holidays. The most important is probably the First of May when everyone has the day off. It is the "Fête du Travail" or "Labor Day" which we in the U.S. celebrate on the first Monday in September. Thousands of people take to the streets waving red flags.

The second week of May featured two more holidays:  The 8th of May, VE Day, marking the end of WWII in Europe and defeat of the Nazis. And the 9th of May was the Feast of the Ascension, a Christian holiday which always falls 40 days after Easter. Since Ascension always falls on a Thursday, it is common for people to take the Friday off (faire le pont) and to have a 4 day weekend. But this year, since both Wednesday and Thursday were holidays, and kids were out of school all week, lots of Parisians had two-day work week and a five-day weekend. Paris streets were quiet - except for tourist areas with endless lines of tour buses from all over Europe.

May 20th is also a holiday this year - Pentecost Monday (lundi de Pentecôte) - celebrated 50 days after Easter - another three day weekend. However, for those of us who are retired, every day is a holiday.

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