Updated: Aug 16
July 14th is our national holiday. It is a public holiday where we meet with family or friends to celebrate. Many events take place: balls, concerts, parades but also fireworks.
Outside of France, the expression used to talk about this bank holiday is “Bastille day”. But it is an expression that the French do not use. Between us, we ask ourselves: “What are you doing on July 14th?”.
And you, what are you doing in Provence this july 14th?
Rousset is the small village where we live. In Rousset, the party begins the day before. The town hall is organizing a concert in the village square today at 6:30 p.m. Tomorrow there will be a memorial service. Due to the heat wave, there will be no fireworks.
For us, July 14th means partying this year without children. Our children are looked after by my mother in Toulouse. It is therefore as lovers that we will go to the concert. The next day, we will celebrate the 40th birthday of our friends around a barbecue.
What is the Bastille?
King Charles V had the Bastille built in the 14th century. The Bastille is a military fortress. Its construction began in 1370 and lasted thirteen years. The Bastille then became a prison. It represents the symbol of the oppression of the monarchy. This is why it was stormed on July 14th, 1789. It was also completely destroyed.
The military parade
In most French cities, there are concerts, balls, parades and more. But it is in Paris that the great military parade has taken place since 1880. The only time the military parade did not take place was during the German occupation during the Second World War. It was also restricted in 2020 during the Covid pandemic. This year, there will be no restrictions.
All army regiments are represented. The latter go down the Champs-Elysées and greet the President of the Republic. In view of the international context, this parade will honor the Eastern European countries. It is the firefighters who bring up the rear. At the end of the parade, the latter, with the Air Force, are at our disposal to answer our questions. The parade will last 2 hours. It's a nice show.
Fireworks take place everywhere in France. In Provence, fireworks are subject to the climate. In case of too much heat, the fireworks are canceled to avoid fires.
Many people attend this event. In Paris, the July 14th fireworks display is a must-see. It is shot from the Eiffel Tower. It is therefore possible to go to the Champ de Mars. To get a good seat, you can hang around all day.
For the less adventurous, it is possible to see the fireworks from Montmartre for example. The view is equally amazing. As we say at home, sometimes you also have to choose your fights.
Nice discovery to you all!
A bit of vocabulary
- La France : France
- La Provence: Provence
- Le quatorze juillet : Bastille Day
- La fête nationale : National day
- Un défilé : a parade
- Un feu d’artifice : a firework
- Un bal : a danse
- Un concert : a concert
- Une cérémonie commémorative : a commemorative ceremony
- Faire le pied de grue : to hang around, to wait
- Choisir ses combats : to pick her/his battles
If you come to my place for an immersion stay in Provence, I will make you discover the different aspects of Provence: the landscapes and the scents, but also the culture, the gastronomy... while helping you to improve your French. See you soon in Provence!
Virginie In Provence