It’s that time of the year when streets in France turn into blue, white and red, the champagne flows, military forces parade on the Champs Élysées, the café waiters race with their loaded trays, and people go dancing at firemen’s balls before watching the fireworks. And flags are on full display. It is as patriotic as France can get. Le 14 juillet, also known anywhere in the Anglo-Saxon world as Bastille Day, is for sure the ultimate French celebration.
Growing up, I never really cared about it. A holiday in the middle of my two-month summer vacation did not make much of a difference. But now that I’m far from my country, thinking about it makes me sort of nostalgic and longing for some French spirit.
If you want to indulge in French lifestyle and catch a glimpse of this holiday, there is a good chance that something is organized not far from where you live. Major cities will have some kind of event. In Seattle, there will be a Bastille Bash in Madison Valley, a day early, on the 13th, and a pétanque tournament on the 14th. Personally, since I’m always looking for an excuse for a soirée, I’ll be throwing a “down with tyranny party”, a commemoration of both the 4th and the 14th of July, to celebrate the glorious liberation of our respective homelands from oppressive and unjust rule. If there is one thing that France and the United States have in common, it’s their revolutionary spirit!
If you feel like celebrating too, here are some ideas:
We’ll be drinking the Liberté cocktail, a mixture of gin and lillet.
There is no specific food tradition associated with the 14 juillet, but here are 10 French classic recipes that will take you to Paris.
A video of the military procession — it is quite long…
No good 14 juillet without playing pétanque.
How to celebrate Bastille Day in Paris.
Have a great weekend and Vive la France!