The most important and the most celebrated day of the year in Paris is Bastille Day. In the Parisian culture, the day is one that encourages everyone, both local and visiting, to celebrate and share happiness. When describing celebration, it by no means a small event that is localized to certain areas. You are talking about large scale events that the whole city is part of and visitors are astounded by. The biggest fireworks display, street dancers, parades, parties and communal get together is what Bastille Day is all about. The New Years Eve fireworks pales in comparison to the July 14th celebration of Paris and everything about the city.
The History Behind the Celebration
As a visitor, you might wonder why this public holiday is the most celebrated one. The history and the significance of the day is a lot deeper and holds a special connection in the hearts of the, incredibility patriotic French. Bastille is a prison in Paris. The Bourbon Monarchy is said to have affected the French to a large extent and the Bastille is associated with the monarchy. However, in the year 1789, there was a large war following which, the Bastille was shook and the epic beginnings of the French Revolution was birthed. The festival of the federation or the Fete de La Federation was celebrated on the 14th of July 1790 and has continued through time.
Even thought the Republic of France was celebrated only on June 30th, 1878, the French found that their real fight for monarchy was on the 14th of July. The French then chose to celebrate their vision and strife from the following year and continue to this day. Benjamin Raspail a favourite politician suggested that the official day to celebrate the Federation be made the 14th of July following the popularity and hence the change was made in the year 1880.
The Icons of Bastille Day
There are beautiful monuments and icons scattered around the city that are a constant reminder of Bastille Day in the everyday life of the Parisian. The Eiffel Tower for one is probably the most well known and most popular one. Even the colours of the French flag signify the importance of Bastille day in its tricolour format.
On Bastille day, the parades and scores of people who attend the festivities paint themselves and dress up in the colours of the French flag. This is to show their support and patriotism to their motherland. Visitors who are in France during the celebration also are welcomes to dress in the colours and join the French as they celebrate their freedom and the love they have for their country.
On the day, the events for the day are kick started with the military parade and the president of France, declaring the event open. The French navy and all military personnel, along with the air force put up a performance to show, a sense of pride for their land. Thousands of people attend the event in the morning. Those who miss the live parade, watch it on the television and join in the rest of the day’s celebration.