France Celebrates Bastille Day 2023

Bastille Day 2023

One of the highlights of Bastille Day is the grand military parade held on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Image: Twitter/@EmmanuelMacron

Bastille Day, known as the Fête nationale française or the French National Celebration, is a significant event for the people of France. Celebrated annually on July 14, it commemorates two pivotal moments in French history—the Storming of the Bastille in 1789 and the Fête de la Fédération in 1790. This national holiday holds great importance and is marked with joyous celebrations across the country.

The Storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, was a momentous event during the French Revolution. The Bastille, a political prison, symbolised the oppressive rule of the Bourbon monarchy. French citizens, dissatisfied with the monarchy’s harsh rule, gathered their collective frustration and launched a violent assault on the prison. The successful storming of the Bastille sparked the revolution that led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the subsequent execution of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.

The Fête de la Fédération, held on July 14, 1790, aimed to unite the French people and celebrate the ideals of peace and brotherhood. To this day, the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity remain at the heart of Bastille Day celebrations. These words echo throughout the festivities, serving as a reminder of the values that shaped the French Revolution.

Bastille Day is celebrated with grandeur and enthusiasm throughout France. The day is filled with communal feasts, parades, musical performances, and spectacular fireworks displays. Families and friends come together to enjoy this national holiday, which grants the entire country a day off from work.

One of the highlights of Bastille Day is the grand military parade held on the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Servicemen and women from various military units, including cadets, the French Navy, and the French Foreign Legion, participate in the parade. The French president opens the procession and reviews the troops, while thousands of spectators line the route, cheering and showing their support.

This year India was the guest of honour in a notable celebration, with Indian troops leading the march alongside French forces. Such collaborations symbolise the spirit of fraternity and cooperation among nations.

However, amidst the festivities, it is essential to acknowledge the challenges and divisions that France has faced. Mass protests, riots, and political divisions have highlighted societal issues, including inequality and racial discrimination. Despite these challenges, Bastille Day serves as a moment of respite and unity, allowing the French people to come together and celebrate their shared history and values.

Bastille Day is not just a celebration of a historical event; it is a testament to the enduring spirit of the French people. It represents their unwavering commitment to the principles of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Let’s hope these principles can help settle the unrest of recent months.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. Do remember to come back and check The Euro Weekly News website for all your up-to-date local and international news stories and remember, you can also follow us on Facebook and Instagram.

Written by

Catherine McGeer

I am an Irish writer who has been living in Spain for the past twenty years. My writing centers around the Costa Cálida. As a mother I also write about family life on the coast of Spain and every now and then I try to break down the world of Spanish politics!