The great thing about Easter is that it always makes a long weekend, because it’s observed on specific days of the week. Sadly in France it’s only a three day weekend because Good Friday is not a public holiday here. Christmas is similarly unfortunate for an Englishman in France, with Boxing Day not a holiday, so the two major religious festivals of the year mean less statutory holiday and more paid leave allowance loss.
The Bank Holidays Act of 1871 established a number of holidays in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland: most of these fall on fixed days (mostly Mondays) anyway, but for New Year’s Day and Christmas Day / Boxing Day. As explained on the DTI website:
Substitute days are customarily appointed for all UK bank and public holidays which fall on a Saturday or Sunday. For some bank holidays, these substitute days are laid down in legislation. In other cases, they are appointed by Royal Proclamation (or Proclamation by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland). The substitute day is normally the following Monday.
What a wonderful system, to have a Royal Proclamation (no less!) to make sure you don’t lose holiday because of weekends. Sadly, in terms of not losing holiday at least, France is a lay republic, so you just lose holiday if it falls on a weekend. Even their May holidays are fixed to dates and not days of the week; 1st May, 8th May and Ascension are all holidays that fall in May but some years you don’t get much holiday out of it (like last year). You can even not have any extra days off over Christmas!
So enjoy your Easter Monday and, on the one day that they’re guaranteed to have the same joy as you in having an long weekend off work, think of the poor French that have no “Royal Proclamation” to save those other wonderful bank holidays.
Technical note: sorry if you received an email about “hacked by devil”. My webhost (and my blogging platform) was hacked yesterday in a massive automated hack. Service is back to normal, and you have nothing to worry about.