Le 8 mai: jour férié et célébrations en France

Le 8 mai: jour férié et célébrations en France

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Added by May 8, 2022

May 8 celebrations in France

May 8th, a holiday in France

SALUT TOUT LE MONDE !

AUJOURD’HUI, C’EST LE 8 MAI ET EN FRANCE C’EST UN JOUR FÉRIÉ. I know, I’m starting this video like last week’s but we have a lot of holidays in France in May. Companies hate it, employees love it. Plus, LES FRANÇAIS FONT SOUVENT LE PONT. / FAIRE LE PONT consists in taking extra days off, on top of the holidays. For example, if May 8th falls on a Thursday, people will be off Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

Now, why is May 8th a holiday ? 

Because we celebrate the end of World War II, ON CÉLÈBRE LA FIN DE LA SECONDE GUERRE MONDIALE. / UNE GUERRE = a war / LE 8 MAI, ON CÉLÈBRE LA PAIX. May 8, 1945, was the day all battles ceased, LA FIN DES COMBATS. (UN COMBAT = a battle)

People often say we celebrate L’ARMISTICE but it’s not quite correct. Un armistice is a peace treaty. But none was signed at the end of WWII. It was the signature of the Act of Military Surrender on May 7, 1945 in Reims that ended the war. LA SIGNATURE DE LA CAPITULATION DES ALLEMANDS.

But Staline was unhappy that the ceremony took place in the West and requested a new ceremony in the East. The USSR lost 25 millions men during the war, so Staline’s request was granted and the capitulation was signed again on May 8th in Berlin, May 9th according to Moscow time. Since then, Russia has been celebrating Victory Day on May 9. And yes, Russia, the USSR more acurately was an ally at the time.

The actual end of WWII took place later that year. on August 15th 1945, when the Japanese capitulated. The Americans had bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and the signature of Japan’s capitulation took place on September 2, 1945.

Here’s some more war vocabulary, sadly useful these days: BOMBARDER  = to bomb / UN BOMBARDEMENT = a bombing / UNE BOMBE ATOMIQUE / UNE BOMBE NUCLÉAIRE = a nuclear bomb 

Let’s lighten the mood for a a minute. Note that  UNE BOMBE ATOMIQUE is also the familiar words used, by men in particular, to refer to a hot woman.

OH LA LA ELLE EST CANON CETTE FILLE. C’EST UNE VRAIE BOMBE ATOMIQUE !

How do the French celebrate May 8th?

First, officials all over France bring flowers to war monuments. ON DÉPOSE UNE GERBE DE FLEURS AUX MONUMENTS AUX MORTS

In Paris, a very specific protocole takes place each year. LE PRÉSIDENT DE LA RÉPUBLIQUE DÉPOSE UNE GERBE AU PIED DE LA STATUE DU GÉNÉRAL DE GAULLE, DANS LE 8E ARRONDISSEMENT. PUIS IL REMONTE LES CHAMPS ELYSÉES JUSQU’À LA PLACE DE L’ÉTOILE. IL PASSE LES TROUPES EN REVUE. IL DÉPOSE UNE GERBE DE FLEURS DEVANT LA TOMBE DU SOLDAT INCONNU, SOUS L’ARC DE TRIOMPHE. ET IL RAVIVE LA FLAMME DU SOUVENIR. LA FLAMME DU SOUVENIR is a small fire burning under l’Arc de Triomphe. ENSUITE, LE CHOEUR DE L’ARMEE FRANCAISE INTERPRETE LA MARSEILLAISE, the national anthem, and « LE CHANT DES PARTISANS ». ENFIN, LE PRESIDENT SIGNE LE LIVRE D’OR DE LA FLAMME DU SOUVENIR. ENFIN, IL SALUE LES ANCIENS COMBATTANTS ET RESPONSABLES DE L’ETAT-MAJOR.

May 8th is a day of commemoration, of remembrance so that history doesn’t repeat itself. FAITES L’AMOUR, PAS LA GUERRE…

Thanks for listening and I’ll see you soon for some more learning. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to learn more French words daily. And if you like this video, like and share it away !

A PLUS!

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