Americans who come to France to work are warned about the special phenomenon that happens in France during the month of May. It is referred as les ponts du mois de mai, which can be translated as “the bridges of the month of May,” although that means absolutely nothing in English or in probably any other language except French spoken in France.
May 1st (Labor Day) and May 8th (VE Day, the end of World War II) are national holidays. So is the Feast of the Ascension, which is celebrated 40 days after Easter and therefore is almost always a Thursday in May. Many French employees take advantage of these paid holidays and ask to have one or two days of paid vacation in conjunction with them to take a long weekend. For example, if the holiday is a Thursday, you take Friday as a vacation day and end up with a four-day break while using just one day of your paid vacation. Some years it is possible to have a total of twelve days off work but only use up three days of vacation. Of course, the immediate impact of this is that French business at the national level crawls for about a month because not enough people are working.
The pont or “bridge” is the vacation day(s) you use to make a bridge between the bank holiday and the weekend. “Faire le pont” (doing or making the bridge) is an expression commonly used during this time of the year.