Wednesday, 14 May 2008
If you think two Bank Holidays in May as in England is a lot you should try living in France. So far this month we have had "Jours fériés" on May 1st (May Day), May 8th (VE Day) and May 12th (Pentecost). Now, as I understand it, France doesn't normally have Pentecost as a Bank Holiday but because Ascenion Day, which normally is a Bank Holiday, fell on May 1st, already a Holiday, we were given Pentecost in lieu. (Are you following this?) However, the boys have had even more days off school than these three days. They also had the Friday and Saturday morning between VE Day and Pentecost in what is called Le Pont i.e. the bridge. And this year, because Le Pont included the Monday, making it longer than normal, it was dubbed Le Viaduc. Who said the French don't have a sense of humour? And, there is more - the boys have also got this Thursday off because the teachers are on strike!! From September, schools throughout France will cease lessons on Sat mornings resulting in a reduction of 2 hours per week in school time. Various proposals are being mooted by the powers that be to work through this reduction but the teaching unions are not happy with them - hence the strike.
So if I am right the boys have only had 6 1/2 days school this term and 6 days off!! But with good weather and the odd late night not a problem we certainly enjoyed the French way of celebrating May.