Les vacances / vrai ou faux?
I read an article (from NPR) about vacations in France. It said French students get two whole weeks off every six weeks plus two months off in the summer! Is it really true? I also read there are eleven national holidays and most people are entitles to have thirty paid vacation days.
French people are known to enjoy their vacations but I didn't realize they do seem to have so many days off! Is it really true? I would like to hear from those who really live in France!
And also if you want to share about your own country, please tell me about it!
For example... In Japan there are sixteen national holidays. And students have about two months Spring break (we start school in Spring and this is the longest holiday), one month Summer break and two weeks Winter break (which depends on where you are though. I believe schools in snowy area, they have less Summer break then much longer Winter break).
C'est vrai. :) I don't have children, but I am an American living in France with my French husband, and it feels like children are constantly out for les vacances. The month of May was especially full of holidays. I think my husband had several weekdays days off from work every week.
How blessed you are! No Japanese business men can take more than a week off consecutively unless you run your own business and in that case, of course you don't get paid. Do you go off to beaches? That is what I picture when I think of European vacances.
I'm currently living in California and I still have a hard time figuring out how to spend two months summer break with my daughters! It is sometimes difficult for the family when parents are at work and their children have no place to go, I mean no grandparents or relatives are around to look after them.
About the children/students : yes indeed but I think the number of hours of school per day is amond the highest in Europe . From 8.30am to 4.30 pm in primary schools . Then to 5pm or 6pm . We often hear parents saying that their children are tired when the vacations are coming " enfin les vacances, les enfants sont fatigués, ils en ont vraiment besoin" . It's not like in Germany where they live school at 2 or 3pm . I think that's why we have lots of vacations. At the universities, maybe it's different . Students start only early October , and the exams are in june, so a long summer ...
About the people who work...: we often say that our parents/grand-parents fought for our social rights . They had one more week of vacation from time to time . Otherwise we would still be working 6 days a week 51 weeks per year, I don't know... When I hear the americans only have 2 weeks of vacation per year....well it seems a really hard life to me . Do they have time to rest once in a while ? Different countries different ways of life I suppose ..
Indeed! So many countries, so many different customs! I never thought about daily school hours until I read your comment. So you are saying French children need frequent break because of the longer school hours. Interesting!
To me, since I've grown up in japan, Americans know how to enjoy their life with no problem! They seem to take paid days off without any hesitations while Japanese tend to save those days for the emergency use. And again it's not all about the vacation time but daily work hours in America seem to be much shorter. For example I see so many parents are involved in school activities or sports. I would say many finish working after five! Actually that is quite amazing for Japanese.
Well I don't know how we decided how much vacation children needed....but I don't remember when I was young that it was always 2 full weeks after 6 weeks at school, sometimes it was only one week or 10 days...maybe it has changed. During the summer , there are summer camps or grrr how is it called : a sort of school place where adults take care of the children, they do lots of different kind of activities : games, sports, creativ or artistic things....Parents need to pay for them but at least their children are doing something during the summer . Parents can't take 2 full months off to be with them all the time.
And about the adults , lots of them work a lot more than the others : high paid jobs, small business boss, (cattle) farmers, butchers, electricians, plumbers....they don't work only 39h /week with 6 weeks of vacations ! When a job need to be done : they do it , they don't count the hours of work or days off .
Thanks for saying how it is in Japan. I heard certain things about the United-States but when we compare with reality , it's not always the same ! It seems that your life has changed a lot ! If you have more free time , enjoy it ! ;)
The French holidays (jours fériés) are: Jan 1st, Easter Monday or Whit Monday, May 1st, May 8th, Ascension Day, July 14th, August 15th, November 1st, November 11th, and December 25th. Total: 10 days (at best, that is if those days are not Saturdays or Sundays).
Students (elementary to high school) have 2 weeks end-October, 2 weeks end-December, 2 weeks in February, 2 weeks in April, and 8 weeks in July-August. Total: 16 weeks.
Workers have a 5 week paid holiday.
EDIT: sorry, it was December 25th, not 24th...
Thank you for the details! So what read was almost correct! I thought it might have been somewhat exaggerating news! How do you spend all the holidays? Do you go somewhere or just stay around the house? Of course it must vary but I'm just so curious!
Going somewhere is primarily a matter of money, so it very much depends on people. Those with a real house and a lovely garden may enjoy staying at home, but others living in big cities will always try to get some fresh air elsewhere. France is a good place for holidays because we have everything you could dream of (except for the desert), so most of us spend some winter and/or summer vacation within our borders.
Je veux visiter la France un jour! J'étudie le français pour que je rêve d'y aller!