Bonne Fête à toutes et tous! The most important national holiday in France is July 14, Quatorze Juillet or La Fête Nationale. On this day, throughout the country, the French celebrate the start of the French Revolution in 1789 when the Bastille was stormed. It is now also an important symbolic celebration where the French values are celebrated: Freedom, Equality and Brotherhood.
Everywhere there are red, white and blue flags and people wear a rosette with those colors as parties are planned. Large tables are set up on the square of each city or village and music is everywhere, often beginning with a military band. Family gatherings can be found throughout the country. In the evening there is dancing, feasting, and controlled fireworks displays.
Since the horrific events in Nice of 2016, when a deranged man drove a truck into the crowd of celebrants with many fatalities, there are solemn commemorations of lives lost.
In Paris the day begins with a massive military parade, including the army, air force and navy, over the Champs Elysées towards the Arc de Triomphe.
La Patrouille de France, part of the French Air Force, is the first to launch a fighter jets’ fly over with a roaring sound, leaving red, white and blue plumes of smoke.
The parade is the oldest and largest in Europe and goes from the Place de l’Etoile across the Champs-Elysées to the Place de la Concorde.
In the evening there is a free concert on the Champs-de-Mars, ending with spectacular fireworks over the Eiffel Tower.
May July 14, 2023 be a safe and joyous day for all in France and wherever you celebrate.
Vive La France!