No one works on this day (except for café owners), and one traditionally gives a little bouquet of muguet to friends to wish them happiness and good luck. The holiday surely stems in part from Le Fête de l’Ascension, long ago secularized by the state and made into a day of rest and general good will. Other Catholic feast days are still celebrated in France, like Toussaint (All Saints) and the Feast of the Assumption, but likewise have been turned into secular holidays by the state. Catholics, of course, attend Mass on the Solemnity of the Ascension, honoring the real reason behind the holiday: the triumph of Our Lord over death and sin and the perfect accomplishment of His mission in returning to the Father.
Merci Christine, Laudem Gloriae
Dieu le Roy.