Armistice Day in France 2024

Until Armistice Day in France are 171 days, ie 5 months and 18 days.

In 2024 Armistice Day in France is on November 11th (monday).

The French celebrate not only the ending of the hostilities of the II World War, but also the end of the first global conflict, which took place between 1914 and 1918.

Armistice Day- origins of celebrations

The Armistice was signed in Compiègne Forest in French region of Picardy on November 11. The document was signed between plenipotentiaries of german regime and Allies, represented by delegates of France, UK, and US. Armistice Day has been celebrated since 1922 and from that time also obtained a status of national holiday. In catholic tradition the day is linked to the worship of saint Martin, patron saint of soldiers, and the faithful attend special services. Because armistice took effect at 11:00, precisely at this time on November 11th it is commemorated by the minute of silence.

How do the French celebrate the Armistice Day?

The celebrations of the holiday are solemn and formal. It takes place in the squares and near the monuments commemorating the war. The French choose also another places connected with history and historical events for the purpose. In 2008, for example, commemorations of the Armistice Day were held at Fort of Douamont, the largest of the nineteen defensive structures surrounding the city of Verdun. This place became the scene of one of the greatest battles of the First World War, fought from 21th of February 1916 to 18th of December 1916.

The unknown soldier

Interestingly, France and Great Britain were first countries to introduce the custom of building graves for unknown soldiers. It is not certain who did it firstly. In Paris, under the celebrated Arc de Triomphe, there is an equally famous tomb of an unknown soldier. Since 1920, ceremonies have been held there to commemorate warriors who died during the Napoleonic Wars and Word War I. All day and all night there is a flame lit, called "The Rememberance Flame". It was created after an idea by War Minister André Maginot, French politican and Member of the Parliament during the times of World War I. It is said that the flame burns without interruption since 1922.

Bluets de France

What are bluets and cornflowers? Bluets are common, dainty flowers, which may cover broad expanses of fields and open woods. As for cornflowers, they are also common flowers, which may be spotted in the fields. They symbolize "pure and delicate" sentiments. And who are bluets and cornflowers?... The soldiers. Names of the aforementioned flowers were associated with the military because of the colour of the uniforms. Today people in France wear bluets and cornflowers in rememberance of soldiers that fell a victim of war, especially the first world war. During the celebrations of the Armistice Day, we may see dainty blue flowers pinned to theirs berets and jackets. They sometimes even form a part of wreats they lay under monuments to commemorate the event. There is a popular song, connected with the soldiers of World War I, which formed the element of the Frech propaganda and popculture. It was the poem named "Bluets de France", written in 1916 by Alphonse Bourgoin. Bluettes are beautiful, cheerful, stylish, because they are not afraid, reads one of the verses of the poem. Despite of the gruelsome realities of war, the poem is merry and uplifting. Bluets are no longer mere, random folowers. Ten years after the end of the World War I, president Gaston Doumergue spake about the flower in connection with war. In 1935 the sale of bluet on Armistice Day became an officially recognized custom.

Poppies for veterans

Another flower, associated with war is poppy. Poppies are used in a symbolic way to show respect towards soldiers, who were killed in times of battle. After poet John McCrae had noticed, that poppies covers ditches near battlefields, he wrote his famous work, entitled "In Flanders Field". As the French are more about cornflowers and bluetes, people in UK and Australia tend to use more of the poppy symblism in regards with the celebrations of. Because the Armistice Day is also commomorated in the US, UK and Australia, yet it bears the name of Rememeberance or Veteran Day.

Other years

Day of the weekDateName of holiday
FridayNov 11th, 2022Armistice Day in France 2022
SaturdayNov 11th, 2023Armistice Day in France 2023
TuesdayNov 11th, 2025Armistice Day in France 2025
WednesdayNov 11th, 2026Armistice Day in France 2026
ThursdayNov 11th, 2027Armistice Day in France 2027
SaturdayNov 11th, 2028Armistice Day in France 2028
SundayNov 11th, 2029Armistice Day in France 2029

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