May 10th is a public holiday in France and marks the day when, according to Christian belief, Jesus ascended to heaven following his crucifixion and resurrection. Some attend Mass, many more simply enjoy the warmer weather or delight in yet another opportunity to enjoy a long elaborate meal with family and friends.
As you would expect, post offices and banks are closed but, as you might not expect, small businesses may also be closed on the Friday and Saturday following Ascension Day, even if they are usually open. However, all is not lost. Boulangeries open in the morning to buy your daily baguette.
As Ascension Day falls on a Thursday, many take a day of their annual leave on Friday to enjoy a four-day weekend. This is known as Faire le Pont, a strange term, that does not translate well into English, meaning ‘making or doing the bridge’.