Which prepositions to use with name days - like Saint Valentine's Day - in French

Look at these examples:

On est sortis à la Saint-Valentin.We went out on Valentine's Day.

Le jour de la Saint-Valentin, tu passes du temps avec ton bien-aimé.On Valentine's Day, you spend time with your loved one.

À la Sainte-Catherine, les femmes célibataires mangent du gâteau.
On St Catherine's Day, single women eat cake.

Le jour de la Sainte-Catherine, les femmes célibataires mangent du gâteau.On St Catherine's Day, single women eat cake.

Je suis né à la Saint-Georges.I was born on St George's day.

Je suis né le jour de la Saint-Georges.I was born on St George's day.

Note that when talking about doing something on a name day, you can use either:

à la + Saint(e) [name] 
or 
le jour de la + Saint(e) [name].

While à la is more general, le jour de la insists a bit more on the very day.

In French, name days are feminine, even with masculine names. 
It's because they're considered as la fête de = the celebration of that name.

Therefore, you will always say à la + [name day], or le jour de la + [name day]. 

 

This rule also applies to All Saints' Day = la Toussaint :
À la Toussaint en France, les gens ne travaillent pas.On All Saints' Day in France, people don't work.

Le jour de la Toussaint, on met des fleurs sur la tombe des gens que l'on a perdus.On All Saints' Day, we put flowers on the grave of people we lost.

 

Also see Which prepositions to use with celebration days - like Christmas - in French

Want to make sure your French sounds confident? We’ll map your knowledge and give you free lessons to focus on your gaps and mistakes. Start your Braimap today »

Learn more about these related French grammar topics

Examples and resources

On est sortis à la Saint-Valentin.We went out on Valentine's Day.
Le jour de la Saint-Valentin, tu passes du temps avec ton bien-aimé.On Valentine's Day, you spend time with your loved one.
Je suis né à la Saint-Georges.I was born on St George's day.
Je suis né le jour de la Saint-Georges.I was born on St George's day.
Le jour de la Saint-Jean, on fait un grand feu de joie.On St John's Day, we have a big bonfire.
À la Sainte-Catherine, les femmes célibataires mangent du gâteau.
On St Catherine's Day, single women eat cake.
Le jour de la Sainte-Catherine, les femmes célibataires mangent du gâteau.On St Catherine's Day, single women eat cake.
Je me souviens, c'était à la St Jean.
I remember, it was on St John's Day.
Le jour de la Toussaint, on met des fleurs sur la tombe des gens que l'on a perdus.On All Saints' Day, we put flowers on the grave of people we lost.
À la Toussaint en France, les gens ne travaillent pas.On All Saints' Day in France, people don't work.
Thinking...