Bastille Day, known in France as ‘La Fête Nationale’ or ‘Le Quatorze Juillet,’ is a national holiday celebrated on 14th July each year. Marking the Storming of the Bastille in 1789 and the unity expressed at the Fête de la Fédération in 1790, this day is regarded as a significant milestone in French history, signifying the nation’s journey towards democracy.
The Historical Canvas: The Birth of Bastille Day
On 14th July 1789, a state prison on the east side of Paris, known as the Bastille, was attacked by an angry and aggressive mob. The prison had become a symbol of the monarchy’s dictatorial rule, and its storming marked the beginning of the French Revolution1. This monumental event was followed a year later by the Fête de la Fédération, a massive feast that celebrated the constitutional monarchy in France and the unity of the French people2.
An Evocative Celebration: The Essence of Bastille Day
The heart of the celebration is the grand military parade, held on the morning of 14th July on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. This parade, the oldest and largest regular military parade in Europe3, is attended by the French President, government officials, and foreign guests45. Across France, people participate in communal meals, dances, parties, and firework displays, signifying unity and national pride.
Embracing the Past: Videos and Documentaries
Visual depictions of historical events offer a dynamic perspective that brings history to life. Numerous documentaries and films on Bastille Day provide insights into its historical significance and contemporary celebrations. Notably, the film ‘La Révolution Française’ offers a cinematic exploration of the revolution that gave birth to Bastille Day.
Heartfelt Greetings: Connecting on Bastille Day
Bastille Day provides an excellent opportunity for people worldwide to connect with their French friends, colleagues, and business partners. Warm wishes and messages acknowledging this important day serve to deepen interpersonal connections and display cultural awareness and respect.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Bastille Day?
Bastille Day, celebrated on 14th July every year, is the French National Day. It commemorates the Storming of the Bastille on 14th July 1789, a pivotal event in the French Revolution, and the Fête de la Fédération on 14th July 1790, which marked the unity of the French people.
2. Why is it called Bastille Day?
The day is named after the Bastille, a state prison in Paris that was stormed by an angry mob on 14th July 1789. This event marked the beginning of the French Revolution and symbolized the end of absolute monarchy.
3. How is Bastille Day celebrated in France?
Bastille Day is celebrated with various public and private events across France, including a grand military parade in Paris. Other activities include communal meals, dances, parties, and firework displays. The day is a public holiday in France, so many people enjoy the day off work.
4. Is Bastille Day celebrated outside of France?
Yes, Bastille Day is celebrated outside of France in various communities around the world, particularly in places with French heritage or large French expatriate populations.