Bastille Day: The National Holiday of France

Bastille Day, officially known as the “Fête nationale française” or “le 14 juillet,” is celebrated on 14 July each year in France. This article explores the historical significance of Bastille Day and the various celebrations associated with this national holiday.

Date and Name

Bastille Day is observed on 14 July annually. In the French language, it is formally referred to as the “Fête nationale française” or “le 14 juillet.”

Historical Significance

Bastille Day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, which was a pivotal event during the French Revolution. This significant moment symbolizes the triumph of the people of Paris against the oppressive “Ancien Régime” or Old Regime.

Fête de la Fédération

The Fête de la Fédération, held on 14 July 1790, was a momentous celebration of the unity of the French nation during the French Revolution. It sought to represent peace and marked the one-year anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille. The event aimed to foster a sense of national unity and solidarity among the French people.

Celebrations

Bastille Day festivities are conducted throughout France, showcasing the nation’s pride and heritage. The Champs-Élysées in Paris serves as the venue for the oldest and largest military parade in Europe, attended by the President of France and esteemed foreign guests. This parade is a display of military prowess and pays homage to the nation’s armed forces.

In addition to the military parade, various other forms of celebration take place across the country. Fireworks illuminate the night sky, parades fill the streets, concerts enthrall audiences, and festive parties create a jubilant atmosphere. These diverse celebrations allow people to come together and rejoice in the spirit of national unity.

Overall, Bastille Day is a cherished occasion in France, commemorating the historic events of the French Revolution and serving as a reminder of the values of liberty, equality, and fraternity that are at the core of the nation’s identity.

Sources

  1. Wikipedia. “Bastille Day.” Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bastille_Day
  2. Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs. “The 14th of July: Bastille Day.” Retrieved from https://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/coming-to-france/france-facts/symbols-of-the-republic/article/the-14th-of-july-bastille-day
  3. Expat Explore. “Top 10 Facts About Bastille Day – Celebrate in Paris.” Retrieved from https://expatexplore.com/blog/celebrate-bastille-day-holiday/

FAQs

Bastille Day: The National Holiday of France

Bastille Day, officially known as the “Fête nationale française” or “le 14 juillet,” is celebrated on 14 July each year in France. This article explores the historical significance of Bastille Day and the various celebrations associated with this national holiday. Here are some frequently asked questions about Bastille Day:

What is the historical significance of Bastille Day?

Bastille Day commemorates the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, which was a pivotal event during the French Revolution. It symbolizes the victory of the people of Paris against the oppressive “Ancien Régime” or Old Regime.

What was the Fête de la Fédération?

The Fête de la Fédération, held on 14 July 1790, was a celebration of the unity of the French nation during the French Revolution. It aimed to symbolize peace and marked the one-year anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille.

How is Bastille Day celebrated in France?



Bastille Day celebrations are held throughout France. The highlight is the military parade on the Champs-Élysées in Paris, attended by the President of France and foreign guests. Fireworks, parades, concerts, and parties are also organized across the country.

Are there any specific traditions associated with Bastille Day?

Yes, besides the military parade, it is common for people to attend public balls (les bals des pompiers), where they can dance and celebrate. Fireworks displays are also a significant part of the celebrations, lighting up the night sky.

Is Bastille Day a public holiday in France?

Yes, Bastille Day is a national holiday in France. Government offices, banks, schools, and many businesses are closed on this day, allowing people to participate in the festivities and enjoy the holiday.

Are there Bastille Day celebrations in other countries?

Yes, Bastille Day is celebrated in various countries around the world, particularly in former French colonies and regions with French influence. For example, Belgium, Canada, the United States, and French Polynesia have their own Bastille Day celebrations.

Can tourists participate in Bastille Day celebrations?



Absolutely! Bastille Day celebrations are open to everyone, including tourists. Visitors can witness the military parade in Paris, enjoy the fireworks, and immerse themselves in the festive atmosphere throughout the country.

What are the key symbols associated with Bastille Day?

Some of the key symbols associated with Bastille Day include the French flag (tricolor), the national anthem (La Marseillaise), and the cockade (a rosette worn to show allegiance to the French Revolution). These symbols are prominently displayed during the celebrations.