This year: Friday, July 14, 2017
Bastille Day (le Jour de la Pris de la Bastille) is the main national holiday in France. In 1789 the Parisians rebelled and took by assault the prison-fortress called Bastille. This fortress is a symbol of monarchy tyranny. The rebels liberated seven prisoners. This event marks the beginning of the Great French Revolution.
Bastille Day is celebrated not only in France, but all over the world. Laying siege to the fortress and taking it later became one of the grandiose events in the history of mankind. It became the symbol of any political liberation achieved by revolution. The mere word "Bastille" has become nominal.
Perhaps, even New Year cannot be compared with all the festival events that take place in Paris on July 14. As you remember, the Great French Revolution started with the capture of the prison-fortress Bastille. People of France hated it so much that in 1789 they used every possible means they had to destroy it. Today, however, the attitude of the most towards this holiday has changed - it is no longer the day to commemorate specific revolutionary events, happened three hundred years ago. It is more like a general celebration of something that is very important, big, joyful and patriotic for each Frenchman.
Despite the fact that the official celebration program is not exactly varied, the whole city is having parties. Anywhere you go - be it a disco, a bar, a nightclub, or just going out in the street - you will see never-ending parties. And as for the place where the Bastille-fortress was once standing on, it is today a big vehicular circle in the centre of Paris.
The official celebration program starts with a sequence of balls: firemen ball, the Big Ball, taking place on July 13, at the Tuilerie-garden (Jardin de Tuilerie). On July 14, the very Bastille Day, there is a traditional military parade on the Elysium fields. The parade starts at 10 a.m., moving from Etiolle and to the Louvre. The president of France takes the salute, and at 10 p.m. there is a wonderful firework at the Eiffel Tower.