Are you visiting France for the first time? Knowing the French seasons, days, and months is an excellent first step to learning their holidays, culture, and language.
This guide will help you remember the French seasons, days of the week, and months of the year. Once you’ve mastered the terms, you’ll finally understand the French calendar while discussing dates in the Romance language!
How to Learn the French Months of the Year
The French months are simple to remember; they all sound similar to their English versions.
Janvier is the French word for the first month of the year, January. It’s also a popular time for celebrating Le jour de l’An (New Year’s Day), another term to add to your French vocabulary.
In French calendars and other countries’ calendars, Janvier is also when we celebrate l’Épiphanie (Epiphany). It’s a Catholic holiday that celebrates the three Wise Men’s visitation to baby Jesus’s manger.
The event in question is when people make une galette des rois (a king’s cake). Whoever gets a slice with a hidden figurine becomes the king or queen. That person also receives a crown.
This month is the French time for love. Le jour de la Saint-Valentin (Valentine’s Day) also occurs in this country, although it’s not as popular as in the United States. French also prefer the term la fête des amoureux (literally: lover’s day).
Février is the peak season for skiing in France. The temperatures are still cold in the Pyrenees and the Alps, although the Mediterranean area sees more pleasant weather. You’ll also find more deals on airfares and hotels in the country this month.
Mars is just like the planet, but with a French pronunciation. Pâques (Easter) sometimes falls during this month, when people paint eggs and eat chocolate. In Roman Catholic, Pâques is when Jesus has risen from the dead.
French people also enjoy waiting for les cloches (bells) to come out and leave the chocolate magically. However, Pâques sometimes occur in April.
The only celebration left during mars is La fête de la Saint-Patrick (Saint Patrick’s Day). People wear green and drink une bière (a beer) during this holiday.
Do you know that stereotypical raining scenario in Paris, France? That usually happens in avril. You’ll probably hear people exclaim, “l pleut !” (Ah! It’s raining!) as they take their umbrellas.
Avril is also when students have their les vacances (vacation). People take le train (the train) to the countryside to unwind. The number of tourists also increases as the weather gets better. But if Easter lands on an Avril, expect an overwhelming crowd.
Mai is the month for Le printemps (spring). The fifth month of the year is when you’ll see les fleurs (the flowers) in full bloom. Les touristes (tourists) are everywhere because it’s the popular time to visit France.
A major French event during mai is the Festival de Cannes (Cannes film festival), which is held in le Sud de la France every year. It’s a huge film festival for watching new film releases.
Congratulations! You’ve made it through half of the year. Juin is the hottest month in France, so grab your lunettes de soleil (sunglasses) before heading to la plage (the beach). The final week of Juin is also school season.
It’s a famous time to go to un festival de musique (a music festival). This festival falls on le solstice d’été (summer solstice). You’ll often see musicians playing different instruments in every corner of the country.
Juillet is the national pride month for many countries, just like the 4th of July in the United States. The country calls this French holiday le quatorze juillet (the 14th of July), aka la Prise de la Bastille (the storming of the Bastille. It’s also known as la Fête Nationale (the National Holiday).
The seas in France are the most inviting during this time of the year. You may also witness the exciting event, which is the Tour de France, an annual bicycle race in France. Make sure to book your reservations and accommodation in advance!
Août in France is the most challenging month because everything is ermé (closed), and it’s hard to finish any task. That means it’s also an excellent month for relaxation. That’s right, avril was only a warm-up for all your vacations.
This month of the year also includes ours fériés (bank holidays) galore, so flights and hotels are fully booked. You’ll also encounter long lines in other vacation spots during this time.
Septembre is the month of class resumption for some schools. All es élèves (primary and secondary school students), école (grade school), collège (middle school), and lycée (high school) better start reviewing and preparing their school bags.
But the best part of the month is Paris Fashion Week. Here, designer presentations are held by top fashion houses. Dior, Chanel, and YSL are just some of them.
Octobre is usually Halloween season for Americans, but the French rarely celebrate this occasion. Some young people might sculpter une citrouille (carve a pumpkin) and dress up in different costumes. Only a few go trick-or-treating.
This month goes by slowly since the school year has finally settled, and everyone minds their own business.
Novembre is the season of automne (fall) in France. The leaves turn orange, and the whole house starts smelling like soup. Nope, there’s no Thanksgiving in this country, but some French people still serve une dinde (a turkey).
The French celebrate l’Armistice de la Première Guerre mondiale (Armistice Day of the First World War) during Novembre.
Décembre means C’est la fin de l’année (It’s the end of the year) among the calendar months. It’s that time for Christmas trees, candies, and presents!
French people celebrate Noël (Christmas) and a rare holiday called la Saint-Nicolas (a celebration of Saint Nicolas) on the sixth of décembre.
French Days of the Week
The French days are harder to remember. Samedi has some similarities to how Saturday sounds, and lundi kind of sounds like Monday. Also, the moon is the basis of Monday and the word lune, being related to the English term lunar. Unfortunately, the others need to be memorized.
The French week starts on a Monday and ends on Sunday. These days are also masculine, like the days, months, and seasons. Adding the article le before the day of the week indicates “every” plus the day.
How Do You Say the Four Seasons in French?
Take a look at the names of the French seasons and how to pronounce them. “Hiver” is pronounced differently from the typical -er ending of French words. Its ending sound is “air” instead of the -er in “parler.”
L’hiver might be some French people’s favorite season because of the cooler weather and snow. It consists of the months janvier, février, and mars (January, February, and March).
Some words associated with this season include La glace (ice), Le bonhomme de neige (snowman), le froid (the cold), and le ski (skiing).
Le printemps is when it gets warmer, and the plants start blooming again. Avril, mai and juin (April, May and June) make up this season.
Some words associated with printemps include la fleur (flower), un oiseau (bird), le nuage (cloud), and le tulipe (tulip).
Juillet, août, and septembre (July, August, and September) are the months that make up summer in France. It’s the hottest season when people visit the beach and other summer holidays.
Some words associated with the season include le soleil (sun), le chaleur (heat), la canicule (heatwave), and j’ai chaud (I am hot).
The fall season in France consists of the months of octobre, novembre, and décembre (October, November, and December). The leaves turn brown and fall, and the air gets colder again.
Some vocabulary words associated with the season include un arbre (tree), la citrouille (pumpkin), tailler une citrouille (to carve a pumpkin), and le vent (wind).
Continuer à Pratiquer
Or in English, keep practicing! Knowing the French season, days of the week, and months of the year will be handy on your next trip to la République. These periods of time are also foundational concepts for learning the French language.