Known to English speakers as Bastille Day (the French don't use that term), la Fête nationale commemorates the start of the Federation of France in 1790. This happened one year after the storming of the Bastille, a notorious French prison - a major event that sparked the French Revolution.
The Bastille was a medieval fortress built during the Hundred Years War that was then used in the 17th and 18th centuries as a prison for people who opposed the monarchy.
The events that followed after the Bastille was attacked eventually led to the beheading of King Louis XVI and his wife Marie Antoinette, who were charged with treason.
Though the first celebration occurred after the successful storming of the Bastille, it didn't officially become a national holiday until 1880. Festivities included a large military parade in Paris on the Champs-Élysées. The annual parade continued and is now considered the oldest and largest military parade in Europe.
Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité
La Fête Nationale - Fête Nat - la Fête du 14 (quatorze) juillet - or Bastille Day for English speakers - is now celebrated in France and by Francophiles around the world with parades, parties, food, and fireworks. In France, it is the time to celebrate Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité. - Freedom, Equality, and Brotherhood.
Celebrate with all things French today!
Read about the history of the French Revolution.
Take a virtual tour of Paris (one of my favorite cities!).
Indulge in the delights of French cuisine - try a new recipe.
Learn French - Duolingo has a neat, easy way to learn the basics.
Fun Fact: Last year, Monika and I were celebrating Bastille Day at Far From France, a charming little shop/café in town, and started talking about holidays. Monika said she wanted to celebrate and learn about more of them and thought it might be fun to write about it. I'm a holiday fiend, so I was all for that idea. And voilà - the Holiday Chicks were born! We started planning from that day on.
Bonne Fête Nationale!
- Barbara 🙃
©2019 BDB Communications All rights reserved.