Armistice Day around the world in 2024

Armistice Day around the world in 2024
The symbol of remembrance in France is the bleuet. Image by Claude Truong-Ngoc , via Wikimedia Commons
  How long until Armistice Day?
Armistice Day
  Dates of Armistice Day around the world
2025 Various Nov 11
FranceTue, Nov 11National Holiday
French GuianaTue, Nov 11National Holiday
French PolynesiaTue, Nov 11National Holiday
GuadeloupeTue, Nov 11National Holiday
MartiniqueTue, Nov 11National Holiday
New CaledoniaTue, Nov 11National Holiday
Saint BarthélemyTue, Nov 11National Holiday
Saint MartinTue, Nov 11National Holiday
Wallis and FutunaTue, Nov 11National Holiday
2024 Various Nov 11
FranceMon, Nov 11National Holiday
French GuianaMon, Nov 11National Holiday
French PolynesiaMon, Nov 11National Holiday
GuadeloupeMon, Nov 11National Holiday
MartiniqueMon, Nov 11National Holiday
New CaledoniaMon, Nov 11National Holiday
Saint BarthélemyMon, Nov 11National Holiday
Saint MartinMon, Nov 11National Holiday
Wallis and FutunaMon, Nov 11National Holiday
2023 Various Nov 11
FranceSat, Nov 11National Holiday
French GuianaSat, Nov 11National Holiday
French PolynesiaSat, Nov 11National Holiday
GuadeloupeSat, Nov 11National Holiday
MartiniqueSat, Nov 11National Holiday
New CaledoniaSat, Nov 11National Holiday
Saint BarthélemySat, Nov 11National Holiday
Saint MartinSat, Nov 11National Holiday
Wallis and FutunaSat, Nov 11National Holiday
2022 Various Nov 11
FranceFri, Nov 11National Holiday
French GuianaFri, Nov 11National Holiday
French PolynesiaFri, Nov 11National Holiday
GuadeloupeFri, Nov 11National Holiday
MartiniqueFri, Nov 11National Holiday
New CaledoniaFri, Nov 11National Holiday
Saint BarthélemyFri, Nov 11National Holiday
Saint MartinFri, Nov 11National Holiday
Wallis and FutunaFri, Nov 11National Holiday
2021 Various Nov 11
FranceThu, Nov 11National Holiday
French GuianaThu, Nov 11National Holiday
French PolynesiaThu, Nov 11National Holiday
GuadeloupeThu, Nov 11National Holiday
MartiniqueThu, Nov 11National Holiday
New CaledoniaThu, Nov 11National Holiday
Saint BarthélemyThu, Nov 11National Holiday
Saint MartinThu, Nov 11National Holiday
Wallis and FutunaThu, Nov 11National Holiday

Observed on November 11th to recall the end of World War I on that date in 1918 and honor the veterans of both World Wars.

  Which countries observe Armistice Day in 2024?
National Holiday Regional Holiday Not a public holiday Govt Holiday

When is Armistice Day?

On November 11th, France commemorates Armistice Day with a national holiday.

Known in French as 'Jour d'armistice', Armistice Day is reserved as a day to commemorate the end of the first world war and honour the veterans of both world wars.

History of Armistice Day

The holiday has its roots in the armistice signed between Germany and the allies in the morning of November 11th 1918, which ended the first world war.

The armistice was signed between the Allies and Germany in a train restaurant carriage, which was parked in the clearing of Rethondes in the forest of Compiègne in the Oise, France. The signing of the armistice marked the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning; the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month."

The Armistice

The Armistice was signed in France at 05:45 on November 11, to take effect at 11:00, effectively ending World War One. Marshal Ferdinand Foch signed the document as the supreme commander of the Allied forces, following several days of discussion with Admiral Wemyss of the UK and Matthias Erzberger of Germany. The document was signed between Germany and the ‘Triple Entente’ of France, UK, and US. 

It was a ceasefire that was initially intended to only be provisional, as it did not officially mark the capitulation of Germany. It was set to last 33 days, but was later renewed.

Even though November 11th is used to reflect the end of the war, it specifically marks the ceasefire on the Western Front as hostilities continued in other regions for a short period, especially across the former Russian Empire and in parts of the old Ottoman Empire.It wasn’t until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, that the Great War officially ended. 

A law was approved on October 24th 1922, to make November 11th a public holiday in France. The date was chosen because veterans wanted to commemorate the end of the war rather than the victory.  The date is traditionally the saint day of the patron saint of the Francs, Saint Martin.

November 11th 1920 was the first year that the commemoration took place, with France choosing to honour the ‘unknown soldier’ with military honours. The remains of the unidentified soldier were buried under the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, and later placed near a remembrance flame. The day was only declared a national holiday in 1922 after this was decided in late November 1921.

The original name of the holiday was 'Armistice de la Première Guerre Mondiale' (Armistice of the First World War), but as in other parts of the world, the holiday was later used to commemorate the fallen in the second world war and other conflicts.

While the end of the war may be seen as a time for happiness and celebration; the unprecedented loss of life in the war means that the day is observed with reverence across France with schools, shops, banks and businesses all closing. A one-minute silence is held at 11 am to remember the fallen.

In observance of this day, there are parades throughout France. Almost every town and village in France has a war memorial listing the men from the local area who died for their country. A grand parade at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris where the French president will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

The ‘Remembrance Flame’ was created after an idea by War Minister André Maginot. It is kept alive by a ‘Flame Committee’, and has never gone out since 1922, even during the Occupation.

The symbol of remembrance in France is the bleuet, or cornflower. This is in reference to new soldiers, who during World War One used to wear blue uniforms, and were nicknamed ‘cornflowers (bleuets)’ as a result. The flowers were chosen because cornflowers have traditionally symbolised "pure and delicate" sentiments, while blue is one of the colours of the French flag, and was also the colour of many soldiers' uniforms in the First World War. Like the poppy in the UK and Canada, profits from bleuet sales go to veterans' charities.

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