What is Bastille Day? In France, it is more commonly called either “La Fête Nationale” (The   National Celebration) or “Quatorze Juillet” (The Fourteenth of July). 

Contrary to what is commonly believed in the United States, this date is not the celebration of storming of the Bastille jail but is commemorating the 1790 “Fête de la Fédération” (Celebration of the Federation) which took place on July 14th 1790.

Indeed, even if the 14th of July was seen by everybody as the symbol of the uprising and the victory again tyranny, it was still controversial.

When politicians debated which date to choose for the Fête Nationale, they found “Federation Day” was more appropriate to show national unity and reconciliation rather than its division.

Traditionally, fireworks take place in most French cities. The famous Avenue des Champs Elysées also host the oldest and largest military parade in Europe, on front of the President, government and officials as well as foreign guests. 

Bastille Day is celebrated in many foreign countries and in more than fifty American cities.

Come celebrate with us at the Alliance Française de San Francisco on Saturday July 14th from 12:30 to 5:00. Live Music, food and refreshments! See you there!