HistoryO In ancient times France was part of the Celtic territory known as Gaul or Gallia. Its present name is derived from the Latin Francia, meaning "country of the Franks," a Germanic people who conquered the area during the 5th century, at the time of the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It became a separate country in the 9th century
O Since the 17th century, France has played a major role in European and world events. In the 20th century, it has experienced numerous crises, including the devastation of two world wars, political and social upheavals, and the loss of a large empire in Indochina, Algeria, and West and Equatorial Africa. It has, however, survived and emerged from the ruins of World War II to become an important world supplier of agricultural and industrial products and a major partner in the EUROPEAN COMMUNITY (EC, or Common Market).
O Today, the term metropolitan France refers to the mainland departments and CORSICA, a large island located in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Italy that has been a part of France since 1768. France has six overseas departments: FRENCH GUIANA in South America; GUADELOUPE and MARTINIQUE in the West Indies; MAYOTTE, an island formerly part of the Comoros, located in the Indian Ocean; REUNION, an island in the Indian Ocean; and SAINT PIERRE AND MIQUELON, islands off the east coast of Canada. In addition, France has numerous small possessions called overseas territories. These include a group of widely scattered islands in the South Pacific
O which are administered from Tahiti and are known collectively as FRENCH POLYNESIA; FRENCH SOUTHERN AND ANTARCTIC TERRITORIES; NEW CALEDONIA and WALLIS AND FUTUNA ISLANDS; and many small islands in the southern oceans, including the Kerguelen and Crozet archipelagos and the islands of St. Paul and Amsterdam (Indian Ocean). The overseas departments and territories are represented in the French National Assembly.
CultureO The culture of France has evolved through various centuries, and what we see today, is the amalgamation of the cultures of various ancient civilizations. These include the Greeks, Celtics, Romans, etc. The culture of this country is influenced by the neighboring countries, and also by various historical events that took place. France has in turn contributed in the development of cultures of other nations in the areas of fashion, modern art and cinema.
Arts and LiteratureO France is considered as the hub of arts and literatureO The artistic side of the France can be seen in paintings of the ancient as well as modern timesO The artistic richness of France is exhibited in various museums of France like Louvre, Picasso and Osray Museum
Social CultureO The France are quite liberalO They are polite by nature and truly value friendships and relationshipsO People of France are quite stylish and fashionableO People in France share a strong cultural identity
CuisineO France cheese and wines are popular all over the worldO France cooking style and food has been adopted by many Western countriesO The dishes and style of cooking are different in different parts of the country
EconomyO France has the worlds fifth largest economy and second largest economy in Europe.After the turn of the century in France they wealth per adult grew very strongy,in value between 2000 and 2007.
The sectors of the economy O France they have the industry,the energy ,the agriculture,the tourism and the weapons industry.
The IndustryO France are telecommunications(including communication satellites),aerospace and defense,ship building(naval and specialist ships), pharmaceuticals,construction and civil engineering, chemicals,textiles, and automobilen production.Research and development spending is also high in France at 2.26% of GDP, the fourth highest in the OECD
The EnergyO France is the world-leading country in nuclear energy.So,nuclear waste is stored on site at reprocessing facilities its is a power of country.France is the smallest emitter of carbon dioxide among the seven most industrialized countries in the world.
(Energy continue)The Agriculture France is the worlds second largestagricultural exporter ,they are agricultural producer andEuropean Unions leading agricultural power, accountingfor about one-third of all agricultural land within the EU.Forexample the product is from the farmDairyproducts, pork, poultry, and apple production areconcentrated in the western region.They got received toomuch around €11 billion in EU subsidies.
The TourismO France is the worlds most popular tourist destination.France is home to cities of much cultural interest (Paris being the foremost), beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, and rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquillity. France also attracts many religious pilgrims to Lourdes, a town in the Hautes- Pyrénées département, which hosts several million visitors a year.
The Weapons industryO French arms industrys main customer,for whom they mainly build warships,guns,nuclear weapons and equipment.So,France is also the fourth largest weapons exporter in the world they is a manufacturers export great quantities of weaponry to many counties for example United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Greece, India, Pakistan, Taiwan, Singapore.
External tradeO France is the second-largest trading nation in Europe (after Germany). Its foreign trade balance for goods had been in surplus.However, the French balance of trade was hit by the economic downturn, and went into the red.Trade with European Union countries accounts for 60% of French trade.
HolidayO The French enjoy 11 national jours feriés (holidays) annually. The civic calendar was first instituted in 1582; Bastille Day was incorporated in 1789, Armistice Day in 1918, Labor Day in 1935, and Victory Day in 1945. During the month of May, there is a holiday nearly every week, so be prepared for stores, banks and museums to shut their doors for days at a time. It is a good idea to call museums, restaurants and hotels in advance to make sure they will be open.
O Trains and roads near major cities tend to get busy around the national holidays. Not coincidentally, this also happens to be the time when service unions (such as transporters, railroad workers, etc.) like to go on strike – something of a tradition, in fact. Travelers would do well to check ahead, particularly when planning a trip for the last week of June or first week of July!
O There are also many regional festivals throughout France which are not included in our calendar. ViaFrance hosts an excellent site which lists fairs and festivals, traditional ceremonies, as well as sporting events, concerts, and trade shows for all regions throughout France. Use the interactive search form below to choose a region and range of dates for a listing of special events, to help plan your itinerary.
O Under the law, every French citizen is entitled to 5 weeks of vacation. Most of the natives take their summer vacations in July or August, and many major businesses are then closed. All of France takes to the roads, railroads, boats, and airways. Consequently, traveling in France during August is generally not recommended for foreigners.
Public Holidays1 January New Years Day (Jour de lan)1 May Labor Day (Fête du premier mai)8 May WWII Victory Day (Fête de la Victoire 1945; Fête du huitième mai)14 July Bastille Day (Fête nationale)15 August Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Assomption)1 November All Saints Day (La Toussaint)11 November Armistice Day (Jour darmistice)25 December Christmas Day (Noël)26 December 2nd Day of Christmas (in Alsace and Lorraine only)