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Bastille Day, in France and its overseas départements and territories, holiday marking the anniversary of the fall on July 14, 1789, of the Bastille, in Paris. Originally built as a medieval fortress, the Bastille eventually came to be used as a state prison.

On Wednesday (July 14, 2021), France will celebrate its national day, also known as Bastille Day. In French it is called la Fête nationale or le 14 juillet. Just click DOWNLOAD or INSTALL.

What is Bastille Day Celebration

Paris was in a state of high agitation in the early months of the French revolution. In Spring 1789, the Estates-General refused to dissolve, transforming itself instead into a constituent National Assembly. In July, King Louis XVI called in fresh troops and dismissed his popular Minister, Jacques Necker.

On the morning of July 14, the people of Paris seized weapons from the armoury at the Invalides and marched in the direction of an ancient Royal fortress, the Bastille. After a bloody round of firing, the crowd broke into the Bastille and released the handful of prisoners held there.

The storming of the Bastille signaled the first victory of the people of Paris against a symbol of the "Ancien Régime" (Old Regime). Indeed, the edifice was razed to the ground in the months that followed.

The Fête de la Fédération ("Feast of the Federations") held on July 14, 1790, celebrated with great pomp the first Anniversary of the insurrection. In Paris, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord held Mass at the Altar of the Fatherland, on the Champ de Mars.

Bastille Day Sales in French

The commemoration of July 14 was abandoned in subsequent years. Under the Third Republic, however, leaders (particularly Léon Gambetta) cast about for ways to celebrate the foundations of the regime. A Deputy for the Seine Department, Benjamin Raspail, moved that July 14 be named the national holiday of the Republic, and Parliament passed an act to that effect on July 6, 1880.

From the outset, the emphasis was on the patriotic and military character of the event, expressing France’s recovery from the defeat of 1870. Every commune or locality in France held its own celebration, starting with a torchlight parade on the evening of the 13th. The next morning, church bells or gun salutes announced the military parade, which is followed by a luncheon, spectacles and games, with dancing and fireworks ending the day.

Coming after the austerity of the 1914-18 war, the 14th of July 1919 was the occasion of a great victory celebration. Similarly, July 14, 1945 was preceded by three days of civic rejoicing.