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Bastille Day – French National Day – July 14, 2009

Bastille Day 2009, the French National Holiday, is celebrated, Tuesday July 14, in France, New York, and around the World.

Jets Over Paris Bastille Day 2009

Blue, white and red – symbolizing the Republic’s three ideals: Liberty, Equality, and Fraternity for all French citizens.

Bastille Day, as the French equivalent of America’s July 4th, is celebrated across France. Celebrations include fireworks, parades, and Firemen’s Galas, in which firehouses across France open their doors to the public for a night of partying, dancing, and live demonstrations.

In Paris, festivities begin on the eve of Bastille Day (July 13), when a giant dance party is held in the Place de la Bastille, the square where Bastille once stood. On the morning of Bastille Day a military parade begins a march through Paris at the Champs-Élysées. In the evening, fireworks are launched close to the Eiffel Tower.

Eiffel Tower Bastille Day 2009

Bastille Day is also celebrated in parts of the world other than France:

  • New York has a large Bastille day celebration, as do other cities in the USA, including New Orleans, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Seattle.
  • South Africa has celebrated Bastille Day for the last 15 years as a week-end festival.
  • In Budapest, Hungary as a 2-day celebration sponsored by the Institute de France.

Philadelphia has one of the most interesting celebrations, lasting 4 days at the Eastern State Penitentiary:

On July 11, revelers are invited to take part in a storming of the Bastille, with Marie Antoinette escorted by armed troops as she shouts “let them eat Tastykake,” throwing the locally-produced pastries from the prison tower.

She’s then presented to the audience, who decide her fate as she stands next to an executioner and real guillotine. French Revolutionaries, played by members of the Old Fort Mifflin Historical Society, also make appearances.

Marie Antoinette and Executioner

Click Here to view a video history of the storming of the Bastille.

Today, throughout France and many other countries around the world there will be numerous Bastille Day celebrations. If you live in an area that has Bastille Day celebrations and festivities be sure to join in and help our French Saigon Kids celebrate.

To all of our French Saigon Kids may you have a safe and wonderfully fantastic Bastille Day – cousins!! 🙂

Bob on behalf of all Saigon Kids

1 comment to Bastille Day – French National Day – July 14, 2009

  • Susan stann

    Bastille Day 1961 was the day my best friends saw me off at Tan Son Nhut… I cried and cried for a year! Luckily I have seen my best friend, Veny, three times since then, most recently in Saigon last March. It was as if no time had passed! Bastille Day never passes unnoticed to me.

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