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Lesson Transcript

Culture Class: Holidays in France Season 1 Lesson 25- Summer Holidays
Hello, and welcome to the Culture Class- Holidays in France series at FrenchPod101.com. In this series, we’re exploring the traditions behind French holidays and observances. I’m Matt, and you're listening to Season 1, Lesson 25- Summer Holidays. In French this time is called Grandes vacances, which literally means “big holidays.”
This word refers to the longest period of school holidays, generally in July and August.
Now, before we get into more detail, do you know the answer to this question?
Which region of France do French people visit the most during the summer holidays?
If you don't already know, you’ll find out a bit later. Keep listening.
During this season, children and students enjoy two months of vacation. In French, school vacation is called vacances scolaires. When compared to students around the world, French students are among those who have the highest number of class hours, but the fewest number of days spent at school. There’s a historical reason for this. In the past, July and August were a time of harvest in the northern hemisphere, and this season meant children were needed in the fields for farm labor. Schools closed in order to allow children to help their parents for the entire two months. Although children don’t need to help their parents with farm work anymore, French students still get a two month vacation in the summer.
In France, paid holidays appeared in 1936 and were marketed as a major social innovation. Today, a French employee can take around thirty paid holidays. “Paid holidays” in French is congés payés.
In general, summer is the season when French people take most of their time off from work. Almost 66% of French people take a vacation every summer. This represents 45 million holidaymakers! One survey showed that French people like to take holidays inside France, mostly at the seaside. In winter, French people prefer to go to the mountains.
When French people choose to go abroad during the long holidays, they usually go to Spain, Italy, or Greece. In French, these are called Espagne, Italie, and Grèce. French people like going to countries where it’s warm and they can swim.
Now it's time to answer our quiz question! Do you know which region of France French people visit most during the summer holidays?
The region called Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur is the most popular region for French people when they go on holidays. It’s near the Mediterranean Sea, or in French, Mer Méditerranée, so it’s warm and you can swim.
How was this lesson? Did you learn anything interesting?
Where would you want to go if you could take a vacation to France?
Please leave a comment telling us at FrenchPod101.com.
Thank you for listening to all 25 lessons! We’ll see you in the next series, bye for now!