There’s a lot you can do with a few scraps of fabric or the unused yards from a skein of wool. In the spirit of using up left-overs to make something useful we’ve assembled a few bits and bobs of information for a blog post to help if you’re planning a trip to Paris – think of these as a few scraps for the memory blanket.
Jours fériés – Bank Holidays – Public Holidays – Closed days
Many, if not most, of the stores we’ve introduced you to on the pages of Stitching up Paris, or here on the blog, are delightfully individual small businesses. In France this means they’ll close on public holidays, (les jours fériés), sometimes randomly at any other time, and for 3 or more weeks in July or August for summer holidays.
We know May is a popular time to travel – who doesn’t love spring in Paris – and there are several jours fériés in May. If you’re a detailed planner who likes every segment of the day pinned in place in advance, make a note of these dates to avoid being disappointed if your intended destination is closed. If you are planning a Stitching up Paris tour these public holidays may not be ideal dates because of the closures so check out alternate tour options.
- May 1st Labour Day and Lily of the Valley day (Fête du Travail, Fête du Muguet)
- May 8th VE Day (Fête de la Victoire 1945)
- Ascension Day (l’Ascension), date varies but always a Thursday 40 days after Easter (will be 30 May in 2019)
Talking of Easter; Good Friday is not a holiday in France, (unless you are in Alsace or Moselle) but Easter Monday is. Easter Monday occurs on 22 April in 2019.
- Whit Monday (Lundi de Pentecôte), date varies always 50 days after Easter so may occur in June some years (will be 10 June in 2019)
Then there are other public holidays to be aware of:
- August 15thAssumption Day (l’ Assomption)
- November 1stAll Saints Day (la Toussaint)
But, December 26, Boxing Day, is not a public holiday.
Always check social media for announcements about holiday closures and fermetures exceptionelles.
Daily neighborhood markets
Every arrondissement in Paris has a number of regular neighborhood markets throughout the year. Canopies are set up early morning, tables are laden with seasonal produce – in spring whole platoons of asparagus line up for inspection – and for a few hours the scene buzzes with business. Merchants shout out the best buys of the day, then everything is dismantled and shifted away ready for the next quartier on the weekly schedule. Before long only a few tatty lettuce leaves, a pile of melting ice from the fishmongers stall, and crumbs from crunchy baguettes are left behind as evidence. Experiencing a market, jostling elbow to elbow with the locals is well worth the effort.
Some markets specialize in other goods, such as a creators market, flea markets for bric-a-brac, vintage and collectibles, markets for ancient books and papers, and markets for postcards and stamps and of course flower markets.
La Mercerie Voyageuse is a regular purveyor of haberdashery with a mix of new and vintage items; old threads, lace trims and old sewing patterns to name a few.
Find her on these days at these locations (most of the time):
- Wednesdays at Edgar Quinet market, near 58 boulevard Edgar Quinet
- Thursdays at Bastille market, 3 boulevard Richard Lenoir
- Fridays at Daumesnil market, at number 27 avenue Daumesnil, opposite boulevard de Reuilly
Other markets specialize in organic produce; the Saturday market on boulevard Batignolles and Sunday market on boulevard Raspail are two well stocked ones.
Regular knitting meet ups in Paris