What do people do?
Many people spend Pentecost Monday quietly in the company of family or close friends. Many people also enjoy a picnic lunch in a park or the countryside. Local sporting or cultural events are held in some small towns and villages.
Public life in France is quiet on Pentecost Monday. Post offices, banks, stores and other businesses are closed. Outside of tourist areas, restaurants and cafes may also be closed. However, bakeries and some stores in Paris, as well as at airports and railway stations and along major highways, are open.
Public transport service schedules vary depending on where one lives and intends to travel. Some villages and small towns hold sporting or cultural events that may cause some local disruption to traffic. Highways into major towns and cities may be very busy in the late afternoon and evening as people return from vacation.
Pentecost Monday, or Whit Monday, is the day after Pentecost. Many Christians believe that on Pentecost, the Holy Spirit descended on Jesus Christ’s disciples. Pentecost Monday was a public holiday in France until 2005 and again from 2008. The holiday was reintroduced after about 15,000 elderly people died in a heatwave in the summer of 2003. The French government made a commitment to financially support the elderly and people with disabilities by deciding that Pentecost Monday would no longer be a public holiday from 2005 onwards.
The public holiday was replaced with the Day of Solidarity. On this day people worked for no pay. Their wages were collected to assist the elderly and persons with disabilities. However, there were demonstrations and Pentecost Monday became a public holiday again in 2008. The French government introduced other fiscal measures to raise money to support the elderly and persons with disabilities.
(Information from timeanddate.com)