France is such a study in contradictions. I just have to shake my head and smile sometimes. The country prides itself on being laique, that is, a totally lay country. Religion doesn't (or isn't supposed to) play a part in anything (government, politics, education etc.). So I find it very ironic that most of the public holidays are Catholic ones. Yesterday was the Ascenscion. Later this summer we will celebrate the Assomption, and there are numerous others.
I posed this question to my mother-in-law once, stating that if France were truly laique then it shouldn't be this way, we shouldn't have those days off at all (not that I am advocating this mind you, the more holidays the better in my book!) . She looked at me very seriously and said "No Francine. What they need to do is to make all the other Holy days of the other religions holidays as well". Gotta love that woman!