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Bastille Day: How did it get its name and why is it celebrated?

15/07/2021

Bastille Day: How did it get its name and why is it celebrated?

Bastille Day is France’s national day and it is celebrated every year on July 14. But how did it get its name and why is it celebrated?


One of the most important national holidays for people in France, Bastille Day is celebrated in remembrance of the storming of Paris’ Bastille Prison in 1789. It was on this day when revolutionists and mutinous troops stormed and captured the military fortress and prison.


The event was significant as the Bastille had become a symbol of the French king, Louis XVI’s, harsh rule and tyranny. Its fall sparked the beginning of the French Revolution, which would last for a decade and see both King Louis and his wife, Marie Antoinette, executed by guillotine in 1793.


The end of the French Revolution led to the formation of the French Consulate, the top-level government of France until Napoleon declared himself emperor in 1804.


Bastille Day 2021


Yesterday, in spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, people all across France recognised Bastille Day. In Paris, French President Emmanuel Macron led the national day parade, which started at the Arc de Triomphe monument and ended with a ceremony on the Concorde square.


Thousands of military and public security personnel paraded by foot, on vehicles and aboard jets over Paris' Champs Elysees Avenue yesterday.


You can see some coverage of the military parade in this video: https://youtu.be/hgeLhCkFBwI


*Image: “Taking of the Bastille” by Rama, Wikimedia Commons, Cc-by-sa-2.0-fr

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