14th July 2023

Bastille Day (France)

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Bastille Day is formally known in France as La fête nationale, and also as ‘Le quatorze juillet’ which means in French 14 of July. In English speaking countries it is known as Bastille Day.

Bastille in French is a jail or prison and it was a fortress prison in Paris, France. It was a symbol of the absolute powers of King Louis XVI, therefore it was hated all over France.

On July 14, 1789, an angry mob stormed into it, signaling the beginning of the French Revolution. They hoped to free the political prisoners held there. This led to the First Republic being formed during the French Revolution.

The revolution put an end to the middle ages feudal system as well as to France's absolute monarchy. It changed France's political structure and officially became a holiday in 1880.

On Bastille Day, people enjoy family activities and celebrations. There is also a military parade on the Champs-Elysées. In the evening, there are fireworks and popular dances known as ‘Bal des pompiers’.

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Bastille Day (France)