Bastille Day

Bastille Day Quick Facts - US

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2024 DateJuly 14, 2024
2025 DateJuly 14, 2025

Bastille Day (France)

Bastille Day (France) in

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Bastille Day History

Bastille Day commemorates a pivotal event in the French Revolution and celebrates the unity of the French nation. The day honors the storming of the Bastille prison on July 14, 1789, which marked the beginning of the end for the French monarchy and the rise of modern France.

Bastille Day is significant not only to the French but also to Americans due to the intertwined histories of the two nations. Both countries experienced revolutionary events that challenged the concept of absolute monarchy and feudal systems in the eighteenth century. The French Revolution was inspired in part by the American Revolution, and in turn, the ideals of liberty, fraternity, and equality championed by the French people during their revolution influenced the development of American democracy.

French restaurants and cultural institutions typically host special events, while some American cities hold parades and street fairs with traditional French cuisine and live music. One notable Bastille Day celebration in the U.S. occurs annually in New Orleans, where the city's French heritage is showcased through a multitude of events, including a historical reenactment of the storming of the Bastille. Bastille Day celebrations in the United States are held on July 14th.

Top facts about Bastille Day

  • The theme for Bastille Day in 2024 will be La Liberté.
    In 2023, the theme was Freedom.
  • The French flag consists of blue, white and red. White was the colour of the Monarchy and red and blue represented Paris. During the Revolution, the white was surrounded by blue and then red.
  • The key to Bastille was among George Washington’s prize possessions, and he proudly displayed it when president and later at Mount Vernon, where it hangs today.
  • The events that lead to the storming of the Bastille arguably began across the Atlantic Ocean as the Old Regime of France had spent a fortune in backing the American Revolution.
  • On July 14, 1789, a crowd of Parisians successfully besieged the Bastille, an old fortress that had been used since 1659 as a state prison.

Bastille Day Top Events and Things to Do

  • Watch the Fireworks at the Eiffel Tower. They usually start around 11pm and can be viewed from the Champs de Mars and Trocadero.
  • Go out to a French Restaurant. Many have specials for this day.
  • Read The Bastille: A History of a Symbol of Despotism and Freedom by Hans-Jürgen Lüsebrink.
  • Cities with French cultural centers, such as New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C., often organize special events, exhibitions, or performances around Bastille Day.
  • To immerse yourself in French gastronomy, visit French restaurants or bakeries in your area.

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