Bastille Day is also called "quatorze juillet" (14th of July). It celebrates the 1790 Fete de la Federation. Fete de la Federation took place on 14 July, 1790 and was organized as a huge feast and official event to celebrate the establishment of the short-lived constitutional monarchy in France.
A number of cities organize fireworks during the night. Dancing parties are organized. Generally, firefighters organize parties, which are called bals du 14 julliet. These celebrations go on from July 13 at night to July 14.
Military parades are organized. These parades are called Défilés du 14 juillet. These parades are organised on the morning of 14 July. The largest parade takes place on the Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris.
The Bastille was a prison. It symbolised the absolute power of Louis the 16th's Ancient Regime. By capturing Bastille, the people proved that King Louis, the sixteenth's power was no longer absolute.
In 2004, during the centenary of the Entente Cordiale, it was the British troops that led the Bastille Day parade in Paris. The French Republican Guard also takes part in the parade. The parade ends with the Paris Fire Brigade.
The parade is followed by an interview that the President gives to the members of the press. The President also organizes a garden party at the Palais de l'Elysee. The Bastille held seven prisoners at the time of its capture. The French citizens stormed the prison and it symbolized fight against oppression. It marked the end of absolute monarchy.
France National Day