Bastille Day
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BASTILLE DAY

Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries to the national day of France, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In French, it is formally called Fête nationale (pronounced [fɛt nɑsjɔnal]; "National Celebration") and commonly and legally le 14 juillet (French pronunciation: ​[lə katɔʁz(ə) ʒɥijɛ]; "the 14th of July").[3]

The French National Day is the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789,[1][2] a major event of the French Revolution,[4] as well as the Fête de la Fédération that celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790. Celebrations are held throughout France. One that has been reported as "the oldest and largest military parade in Europe"[5] is held on 14 July on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, along with other French officials and foreign guests.[6][7]
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Bastille Day is the common name given in English-speaking countries to the national day of France, which is celebrated on 14 July each year. In French, it is formally called Fête nationale (pronounced [fɛt nɑsjɔnal]; "National Celebration") and commonly and legally le 14 juillet (French pronunciation: ​[lə katɔʁz(ə) ʒɥijɛ]; "the 14th of July").[3]

The French National Day is the anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789,[1][2] a major event of the French Revolution,[4] as well as the Fête de la Fédération that celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790. Celebrations are held throughout France. One that has been reported as "the oldest and largest military parade in Europe"[5] is held on 14 July on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, along with other French officials and foreign guests.[6][7]
Bastille Day, in France and its overseas départements and territories, holiday marking the anniversary of the fall on July 14, 1789, of the Bastille, in Paris. Originally built as a medieval fortress, the Bastille eventually came to be used as a state prison. Political prisoners were often held there, as were citizens detained by the authorities for trial. Some prisoners were held on the direct order of the king, from which there was no appeal. Although by the late 18th century it was little used and was scheduled to be demolished, the Bastille had come to symbolize the harsh rule of the Bourbon monarchy. During the unrest of 1789, on July 14 a mob approached the Bastille to demand the arms and ammunition stored there, and, when the forces guarding the structure resisted, the attackers captured the prison and released the seven prisoners held there. The taking of the Bastille signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, and it thus became a symbol of the end of the ancien régime. Bastille Day is celebrated on Wednesday, July 14, 2021.
Bastille Day is a holiday celebrating the storming of the Bastille—a military fortress and prison—on July 14, 1789, in a violent uprising that helped usher in the French Revolution. Besides holding gunpowder and other supplies valuable to revolutionaries, the Bastille also symbolized the callous tyranny of the French monarchy, especially King Louis XVI and his queen, Marie Antoinette.

Despite inheriting tremendous debts from his predecessor, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette continued to spend extravagantly, such as by helping the American colonies win their independence from the British. By the late 1780s, France’s government stood on the brink of economic disaster. To make matters worse, widespread crop failures in 1788 brought about a nationwide famine. Bread prices rose so high that, at their peak, the average worker spent about 88 percent of his wages on just that one staple. Unemployment was likewise a problem, which the populace blamed in part on newly reduced customs duties between France and Britain. Following a harsh winter, violent food riots began breaking out across France at bakeries, granaries and other food storage facilities.
The French national holiday of Bastille Day—celebrated each year on July 14, or le quatorze juillet—may spell fireworks and and a large military parade for some, but for most, it still marks the anniversary of the storming of a grand fortress that was infamous for holding political prisoners, during the first moments of the French Revolution in Paris in 1789.

But the meaning behind that action isn’t quite as poetic as the motto of “liberté, égalité, fraternité” sounds, says Dan Edelstein, chair of the Division of Literatures, Cultures and Languages at Stanford and an expert on 18th century France.

Back in July of 1789, France had already experienced a rough summer that included food shortages, high taxes (as a solution to King Louis XVI’s debts) and the militarization of Paris. Sensing distress, the king called upon the Estates-General—an assembly that hadn’t met in more than a century—to deliver a new tax plan. That resulted in the Third Estate, the non-noble/non-clergy portion of the assembly, breaking from the clergy and nobility, and demanding a written constitution from France. Their proclamation would form the National Assembly in late June. Weeks later, after the king removed a finance minister, Jacques Necker, of whom the estate approved, fears that Louis XVI was attempting to quash any political revolution began to boil.
If there is one event not to miss in Paris, it is the French national holiday! This festive occasion brings people together and offers 2 days of exceptional free entertainment: a military parade, public dances at local fire stations, an outdoor operatic concert, and most of all, breathtaking fireworks. Every year, this world-class fireworks display is eagerly-awaited. For 30 minutes, the Eiffel Tower becomes the focus of a magical sound and light show – a dazzling sight for children and adults, Parisians and visitors. Come and enjoy the show and experience some of the magic of Bastille Day in Paris!
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