Bastille Day

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Bastille Day
Bastille Day

July 14th is Bastille Day, a national celebration in France marking the historic event of the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, a pivotal moment in the French Revolution.

The Bastille, originally a military fortress and prison, held only seven inmates on that fateful day, including four counterfeiters, two mentally ill individuals, and a count. The storming of the Bastille was a forceful uprising that played a crucial role in the onset of the French Revolution.

Bastille Day is observed with a combination of military parades, festive dancing, and vibrant fireworks displays. In French, one can extend greetings on Bastille Day by saying "Bonne fête nationale!" or "Joyeux quatorze juillet!".

Historical Background

  • French Revolution: Bastille Day marks the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille fortress-prison in Paris by revolutionaries.
  • Symbol of Freedom: The storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, symbolizes the beginning of the French Revolution, a pivotal event that led to the overthrow of the absolute monarchy and the birth of the modern French nation.
  • End of Feudalism: The fall of the Bastille was a turning point in the Revolution, representing the end of feudalism and the beginning of popular sovereignty and democratic ideals in France.

Traditions and Celebrations

  • Military Parade: The main event of Bastille Day is the grand military parade along the Champs-Élysées in Paris. It showcases French military strength and honors the armed forces.
  • Fireworks: Spectacular fireworks displays light up the sky across France, especially in Paris, where the Eiffel Tower is a focal point for celebrations.
  • Public Events: Festivals, concerts, street parties, and cultural events are held throughout France, featuring music, dance, food, and historical reenactments.
  • National Unity: Bastille Day is a symbol of national unity and pride, bringing together people from all walks of life to celebrate French heritage and values.


  • Symbol of Liberty: Bastille Day symbolizes the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity that are foundational to the French Republic.
  • National Holiday: It is a national holiday in France, and government offices, businesses, and schools are closed.
  • Global Influence: Bastille Day is celebrated by French communities and Francophiles around the world, promoting French culture, cuisine, and history internationally.

Cultural Impact

  • Cultural Festivities: Beyond France, Bastille Day celebrations include French-themed events, parties, and festivals in many countries, showcasing French cuisine, wine, music, and art.
  • Historical Reflection: The day also serves as a reminder of the importance of democracy, human rights, and social justice, echoing the ideals that emerged from the French Revolution.

How to Celebrate

  • Attend Events: If you're in France, attend the military parade in Paris or local celebrations in other cities and towns.
  • Learn French Culture: Explore French history, culture, and cuisine through events, exhibitions, and culinary experiences.
  • Celebrate with Food: Enjoy French food and wine, such as croissants, cheese, champagne, and traditional dishes like coq au vin or ratatouille.
  • Share the Spirit: Share in the spirit of Bastille Day by learning about French values of liberty, equality, and fraternity and promoting these ideals in your community.

Bastille Day is a significant national holiday in France and a celebration of freedom, democracy, and national unity. It commemorates a historic event that continues to inspire and resonate with people around the world who cherish principles of liberty and human rights.