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As I am not the historian, I am not going to attempt to provide my own answer - but I've drawn a few posts from previous Paris in July events that do tell the story in different ways.
|Shared by Recollections of a Vagabonde in 2014|
The people of France celebrate equality, solidarity and social gains obtained from the start and since the Revolution and the symbolic taking of the Bastille. The 14th of July is a traditional national holiday with fireworks and dancing in the streets.In another post by the same blogger (in 2009) highlights the importance of the declaration of Human Rights to the French.
The absolute French monarchy fell when the Bastille fell. On 26 August 1789 the new aspirations of the French Republic were defined by the “Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen”– which inspired the values of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 by the United Nations - read it here if you wishSim, who's just joined Paris in July this year, has just posted this wonderful memory of a Bastille Day when she was in Paris. She notes this about the event she witnessed
It wasn't just any 14th of July, no ordinary Bastille Day. It was the 200th anniversary of the 1789 Storming of the Bastille. The fact that only a handful of prisoners (seven actually) were housed there—none of whom were political prisoners— and were freed from the dreaded Bastille that day isn't the point. Nor that Robespierre's Reign of Terror would follow shortly thereafter. This was the beginning of the French Revolution. And that summer of 1989, the bicentennial of that event was a very big deal.Louise, at a Strong Belief in Wicker, posted as parted of Paris in July in 2013, some of her photo's of her experience of Bastille Day also. She asked
- Are there more flags about this week with Bastille Day looming, or did I just notice them more?
Also, last year in Paris in July, I interviewed a Real French Chef, and I asked Didier how he celebrated the occasion. What would you cook on Bastille Day? what does the average family cook on Bastille Day?
- How about a barbecue? Inspired by the U.S., my second country (by adoption), firing up the grill and getting together with friends and family for all kinds of grilled meat, fish and veggies is the way to go! If the weather cooperates on that day, French people love being outside: summer drinks, fresh salads and vegetables, gorgeous summer fruit for dessert (cherries, apricot, peaches, strawberries…) and a few scoops of ice cream topped with loads of freshly made vanilla whipped cream!
- Of my favorite Bastille Days, are the ones perched on a terrace of our friends’ apartment with a view of fireworks displays surrounding the city. Colors popping to life, illuminating the sky… and the Eiffel Tower reigning as a small jewel amidst it all.
- My favorite is the air show in Paris, where jets and fighter planes from the French military zoom surprisingly low across the Parisian skyline. It's a fascinating glimpse into France's air fleet and it amazes me how low they fly, right through the city. Post-9/11, that just doesn't happen in the US.
- I work in La Défense, the business district of Paris stacked with skyscrapers. Last year, the loud whoosh of the jets interrupted one of my meetings, as my colleagues and I ran to the windows to watch the planes do their practice runs. From our angle, the wings nearly clipped the buildings
Here's my 5 things to do for Bastille Day... (when you're not in France)
- Do something that supports equality and fairness - make a donation to Amnesty International! or Support my Indian Charity...
- Find fireworks somewhere - or even better have a glass of your favourite bubbles - they'll feel like fireworks on the inside!
- Find something colourful that reminds you of the nature of this colourful nation and their strong commitment to social gains.
- Ask a french person what the day means to them - find a french person..
- Make your own little tradition for Bastille Day or Quatorze Julliet.