14th of July or “Bastille Day” if you are not French

Categories: All Posts|

Photo credit Yann Caradec

Bastille Day is the name used by just about everyone except the French to describe their National Celebration. Similar in phrase to USA’s 4th of July, France has the 14th of July. It’s a dual holiday that celebrates the anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 7/14/1789 and also the anniversary of the National Celebration of unity of the French people on 7/14/1790 called Fête de la Fédération.  A show of fireworks is customary and millions gather to see the annual show around the Eiffel Tower.

A few more related pieces of French history:

  • The 1889 World Fair: Exposition Universelle in Paris was held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Storming of the Bastille.
  • The Eiffel Tower was erected to be the grand entrance to the Exposition and was the tallest structure in the world at that time!
  • The Bastille was a political prison and only contained 6 or 7 inmates on the day it was stormed in 1789 but its fall was considered the kick off to the French Revolution.