The National Day of France

by Vishal Kumar

The National Day of France, also known as Bastille Day marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Learn about the day's history and when and how it is celebrated.

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.

It took place on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille. Fete de la Federation represented the uprising of the modern French “nation”. This marked the beginning of the French Revolution.

A number of cities organize fireworks during the night. Dancing parties are organized. Generally, firefighters organize parties, which are called bals du 14 Juliet. 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 organized on the morning of 14 July. The largest parade takes place on Champs-Elysees Avenue in Paris.

The parade opens with cadets from some schools. Some schools from which, the cadets come are école Polytechnique, école Navale and Saint-Cyr. Infantry troops and Motorised troops are also a part of the parade. The aviation of the Patrouille de France flies over the parade.

The Bastille was a prison. It symbolized 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 the fight against oppression. It marked the end of absolute monarchy.

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