Home   Calendar   Holidays   France   St Stephen's Day

St Stephen's Day in France

Many Christians in France honor the life of St Stephen on St Stephen's Day by attending special church services. Many people have a day off work in France's Alsace-Moselle region. They often spend the day with family members and close friends. It falls on December 26 each year.

Image of the stoning of St Stephen
St Stephen was a Christian martyr who was stoned to death.

What Do People Do?

Some Christians attend special church services to honor St Stephen's life. Many people have a day off work in the Alsace-Moselle region of France. They may spend the day with family members and close friends or take trips to areas of France. December 26 is a normal working day in other parts of France.

Public Life

St Stephen's Day is a public holiday in the départements of Haut-Rhin, Bas-Rhin and Moselle. These areas are on the German border and are known as the Alsace-Moselle region. Post offices, banks, stores and other businesses in these areas are closed. Restaurants and cafes may also be closed.

However, some stores at railway stations and along major highways are open. Public transport service schedules vary depending on where one lives and intends to travel. St Stephen's Day is not a public holiday in other parts of France.


Stephen was an early convert to Christianity. Jewish judges tried him for blasphemy against Moses and God and speaking against the Jewish Temple and Law. He was stoned to death by a mob lead by the future Saint Paul around 34CE. St Stephen is seen as the first Christian martyr. 


The name "Stephen" is derived from a Greek word meaning crown. He is often depicted with a crown of martyrdom, three stones and the martyrs' palm.

St Stephen's Day Observances

WeekdayDateYearNameHoliday Type
SunDec 262010St Stephen's DayLocal holiday
MonDec 262011St Stephen's DayLocal holiday
WedDec 262012St Stephen's DayLocal holiday
ThuDec 262013St Stephen's DayLocal holiday
FriDec 262014St Stephen's DayLocal holiday
SatDec 262015St Stephen's DayLocal holiday
MonDec 262016St Stephen's DayLocal holiday
TueDec 262017St Stephen's DayLocal holiday
WedDec 262018St Stephen's DayLocal holiday
ThuDec 262019St Stephen's DayLocal holiday
SatDec 262020St Stephen's DayLocal holiday

Quick Facts

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.

St Stephen's Day 2018

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

St Stephen's Day 2019

Thursday, December 26, 2019


Name in other languages

Saint ÉtienneFrench
St Stephen's DayEnglish
St. ÉtienneGerman
Andre juledag (Sankt Stefanus)Norwegian

Alternative names

2nd day of ChristmasEnglish
Annen juledagNorwegian

List of dates for other years

Related holidays

Other holidays in December 2018 in France

Fun Holiday on December 26, 2018

You might also like

The Hindu deity Rahu.

Solar Eclipse Myths

The solar eclipse has inspired many mythical stories and influenced human behavior. Even today, eclipses of the Sun are considered bad omens in many cultures. more

Watching Lunar Eclipses

A lunar eclipse can be seen with the naked eye, unlike solar eclipses, which have special safety requirements. more

December Solstice Facts

10 things you may not know about the December Solstice, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. more