Last week America celebrated its Independence Day; families flocked together, friends and loved ones planned barbecues and get togethers, fireworks, parades, outdoor food and fun, the celebrations were endless, but the main message was for unity and thanks to our communal home. Though the Fourth of July is specific to the United States, the celebration of freedom and unifying patriotism is not, and can be found in countless commemorations around the world. The histories and stories are different, but we all have days dedicated to celebrations of triumph; when the common man finally has his moment to shine and prevail for his beliefs and freedoms.
In France, this Fête Nationale is honored on the Fourteenth of July, remembering the Storming of the Bastille, in which a handful of men were liberated from the Bastille Prison, men who had been detained with little to no evidence or reason. Though only a handful of men were imprisoned at the time, this was a momentous feat for the people, an event that sparked a number of other rallies for unity (like the Women’s March on Versailles!), and a symbol of defeat over Royal Authority. One year after the Storming, France began la Fête de la Fédération, marking the unity of the French people against an unfair Monarchy and the pivot of the French Revolution.
Fireworks, parades, parties, unifying friends and families, the celebrations are no different than what many of us find at home. If you’re in Paris, don’t miss the biggest and most historic military parade in Europe, down the Champs-Élysées, and of course, can’t miss the fireworks toppling La Tour Eiffel!
Closer to New York on the 14th? Head to Smith Street in Brooklyn for the U.S.’s biggest version of the celebration! The entire street closes to pedestrians only, lined with open restaurants, food stands, pétanque players and guillotine testers. Though the festival happens each year the Sunday before the French, you can still catch festivities and avid restauranteurs at Bar Tabac.
Don't forget your rosé and happy Bastille Day all!
Pauline, Apparis Bloguette
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