Home   Calendar   Holidays   France   Ascension Day
Flag for France

Ascension Day in France

Ascension Day (Ascension) marks the day that Jesus ascended to heaven following his crucifixion and resurrection, according to Christian belief. It is the 40th day of Easter and is ten days before Pentecost Sunday. It is a public holiday in France.

Is Ascension Day a Public Holiday?

Ascension Day is a public holiday. It is a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed.

Church Service

Some Christians in France attend church services on Ascension Day.

©iStockphoto.com/Slobo Mitic

What Do People Do?

Some Christians in France may attend special church services to mark the ascension of Jesus to heaven. For other people, Ascension Day is an opportunity to spend time with family and friends or to enjoy the spring weather. Ascension Day falls on a Thursday so many people take a day of their annual leave on Friday and so enjoy a four-day weekend. They often use the opportunity to take a short vacation.

Public Life

Public life is generally quiet on Ascension Day. Post offices, banks, stores and other businesses are closed. Outside of tourist areas, restaurants and cafes may also be closed. However, bakeries and some stores in Paris, as well as at airports and railway stations and along major highways, are open. Small businesses may also be closed on the Friday and Saturday after Ascension Day, even if they are usually open on these days.

Public transport service schedules vary depending on where one lives and intends to travel. Some villages and small towns hold sporting or cultural events on Ascension Day and during the following weekend. These may cause some local disruption to traffic.

Background and symbols

Ascension Day marks the day that Jesus ascended to heaven following his crucifixion and resurrection. It is celebrated in many countries including in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and the United States.

About Ascension Day in other countries

Read more about Ascension Day.

Ascension Day Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015ThuMay 14Ascension DayNational holiday
2016ThuMay 5Ascension DayNational holiday
2017ThuMay 25Ascension DayNational holiday
2018ThuMay 10Ascension DayNational holiday
2019ThuMay 30Ascension DayNational holiday
2020ThuMay 21Ascension DayNational holiday
2021ThuMay 13Ascension DayNational holiday
2022ThuMay 26Ascension DayNational holiday
2023ThuMay 18Ascension DayNational holiday
2024ThuMay 9Ascension DayNational holiday
2025ThuMay 29Ascension DayNational holiday

You might also like

Watch Comet 46P/Wirtanen!

Watch Comet 46P/Wirtanen!

All of December, this comet will be bright enough to spot with the naked eye. Find the comet on our Interactive Night Sky Map and see when and where you can watch it. more

Christmas Tree in front of Notre Dame Cathedral

Christmas Eve

Christmas Eve is the day before Christmas Day and is an important occasion for many French families. more

Christmas Day

Christmas Day is an occasion for Christians to celebrate Jesus Christ's birth. It is public holiday in France. more

St Stephen's Day

St Stephen's Day is an occasion for Christians to honor St Stephen's life and is a public holiday in France's Alsace-Moselle region. more