Vive le Revolution - Bastille Day
Bastille Day commemorates the seizing of the Bastille prison by the people on 14 July 1789. This was the start of the French Revolution. The prison, despite only holding seven prisoners at the time of its capture, was a symbol of the absolute power of King Louis XV1. By capturing the prison, the people signaled that the monarchy’s reign and their oppression was over.
Being its most important national holiday, France celebrates the 14th of July each year with parties and parades. The festivities start in Paris on Bastille Day Eve with dancing in the Bastille Square, the place where the fortress once stood. On the day itself, celebrations include a military march up the Champs Elysees accompanied by jets overhead. A fireworks display at night takes place at the Trocadero near the Eiffel Tower. In every village in France that day the streets are filled with people having fun and plenty to eat/drink.
Bastille Day is not only celebrated in France but also in many other places around the world such as an open air picnic in New York where tables are set up with checkered table cloths along three blocks of 60th street, a Parisian waiter's race at the LA event and a festival in Tahiti which combines French celebrations with traditional native canoe races, fire walking and tattooing.