The Fourth of July is nearly upon us! In the U.S.A, July 4 is when we celebrate our Independence Day, but did you know that another big country celebrates its independence in July as well? On July 14, France celebrates La Fête Nationale, also known as Bastille Day. Be careful though, the French actually never call it Bastille Day!
The United States chose their independence day because it was the very day that the Declaration of Independence was adopted, essentially ending the American Revolution. France’s holiday, however, symbolizes the beginning of their revolution, rather than the end. July 14, 1789 was the day of the Storming of the Bastille, the battle that ignited the French Revolution that would ultimately end in their independence from the French Monarchy and feudalism.
The celebrations that take place on Bastille Day are very similar to the ones that take place on our Independence Day. They have military parades, festivals and extravagant firework shows near the Eiffel Tower. Other countries and cities with strong French ties celebrate Bastille Day as well, including Canada, The United Kingdom, New Orleans and St. Louis.