Armistice Day is a Bank Holiday (Jour Férié) in France – the French commemorate the day when the war ended on the 11th hour, on the 11th day of the 11th month. We will remember.
Interestingly enough it is not a Bank Holiday in the UK, however, throughout the land children would have been making poppies, selling poppies and wearing them. As fully fledged adults we remember doing this as school children ourselves and so it continues, today, in 2022. It is ingrained in our culture some 100 years later.
Here in France, the flower that is associated with the ending of World War I, is the cornflower ‘Le bleuet’, however, this is not as widely worn as you have come to see in the UK.
The French commemorate the ending of WW1 with this bank holiday. Many shops and public services will be closed. Local church services will be held and you will see the monuments for the fallen adorned with French flags. I personally have great admiration for the way in which the French commemorate their war dead. In particular, the statues of the soldiers. You will find stunning pieces of art all across the very tiniest of villages across France. It is a very important day in our Nation’s history.
So please do go along to your local church service if you would like to commemorate in this way. You will be most welcome. As is the case in the UK, there will be a minute’s silence at 11am (10am in the UK). Or you may wish to switch on your French television and watch live coverage of the ceremony In Paris. The French president, Emmanuel Macron, will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier at the Arc de Triomphe.