V-E Day in France in 2021

V-E Day in France in 2021

  How long until V-E Day?
This holiday next takes place in 297 days.
  Dates of V-E Day in France
2022 France Sun, May 8 Public Holiday
2021 France Sat, May 8 Public Holiday
2020 France Fri, May 8 Public Holiday
2019 France Wed, May 8 Public Holiday
2018 France Tue, May 8 Public Holiday
  Summary
Victory in Europe Day marks May 8th 1945 when the Allies formally accepted an unconditional surrender by the armed forces of Germany
  Local name
Fête de la Victoire
  V-E Day in other countries
V-E Day internationally
Related holidays

When is VE Day?

Victory in Europe Day (V-E Day or VE Day) is commemorated on May 8th.

It is a national holiday in France known as 'Victoire 1945' or 'La fête de la victoire' and the day is also celebrated as a holiday in several other countries in Europe.

History of VE Day

Victory in Europe Day marks May 8th 1945, on which day the second world war Allies formally accepted an unconditional surrender by the armed forces of Germany and the end of Adolf Hitler's Third Reich, after six years of the bloodiest conflict in human history.

On April 30th 1945, Hitler had committed suicide during the Battle for Berlin.

The surrender of Germany was authorized by his replacement, President of Germany, Karl Dönitz.

The administration headed up by Dönitz was known as the Flensburg government.

The act of military surrender was signed on May 7th 1945 in Reims, France, and May 8th 1945 in Berlin, Germany.

In 2020, the Early May Bank Holiday in the United Kingdom was moved to May 8th to mark the 75th anniversary of V-E Day. The same change happened in 1995 to mark the 50th anniversary of V-E Day. 

In Russia and some other East European countries, this event is marked on Victory day on May 9th. It is a day later as the treaty was signed at 10.30 pm in the evening in Reims, to come into effect at 11.01 pm. As Russia is one hour ahead of Western Europe, this meant it was already May 9th in Russia.

Initially, this day was celebrated on May 9th in Slovakia but is now observed on May 8th.

In Ukraine from 2015, May 8th was designated as a day of Remembrance and Reconciliation, but it is not a public holiday.

V-E Day's history in France

The surrender of the Nazi forces on May 8th 1945 was an important day for France, ending a period of occupation that both devasted and shamed the country. In recognition, from 1953 to 1959, the day was a holiday until Charles De Gaulle changed it to be a commemoration. Then, in 1975, the commemoration was abolished by President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing in favour of the celebration of the next day, May 9th, marking the date in 1950 when French statesman Robert Schuman delivered a founding speech for the forerunner of the European Union.

The abolition was justified by insisting that hardly anyone had attended the commemorations in Paris that year. However, many people disputed this and were angry that their commemoration of the war had been taken away from them. Because of its particular importance for the French, "May 8, 1945" is a common name for a street or a place in France.

In 1980, the question of the return of VE Day was again posed to the French cabinet by Guy Genermont, president of an association of decorated. After the election of François Mitterrand the following year, the day was brought back as a public holiday.

As for May 9th, it has officially been the holiday of Europe since 1985, though Luxembourg is the only EU country who observes it as a holiday. The other country that observes it is Kosovo.

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