This post is part of the Paris in July blogging event. I’m delighted to be co-hosting this year! Please check out the blogs of Karen at “A Wondering Life” and Tamara at “Thyme for Tea,” creators of the event, for links to all participating posts.
So how do Parisians spend Bastille Day? Festivities begin with BBQs and the annual “Firefighters’ Ball” on July 13 and celebrations culminate with the Paris fireworks display over the Eiffel Tower on the night of the 14th.
“What’s this about the firefighters hosting a party?” you might ask.
Well, it dates back to July 14, 1937. A group of firefighters in Montmartre were marching back to the station after Bastille Day celebrations and a few area residents followed. It was then that Sergent Cournet decided it would be a good opportunity to open the firehouse up to the locals and give them a glimpse into the world of the Parisian firefighter. Add music, drinks and a tradition was born!
With the exceptions of 1939-1945 (wartime), the balls at various firehouses have been an integral part of Bastille Day tradition.
For me, Bastille Day reminds me of July 4th back in the U.S. and my celebrations usually have been similar: BBQs, fireworks, walks through parks and gardens.
Of my favorite Bastille Days, are the ones perched on a terrace of our friends’ apartment with a view of fireworks displays surrounding the city. Colors popping to life, illuminating the sky… and the Eiffel Tower reigning as a small jewel amidst it all.
Fellow Paris-based author Vicki Lesage is teaming up with me on a few “Paris in July” posts. We each will be writing our own take on a particular Paris-related theme. Vicki’s thoughts on Bastille Day:
Allons enfants de la patrie! It's the 14th of July, also known as Bastille Day, the day France celebrates the revolution and becoming a republic. Citizens celebrate across the nation, in a rare moment of flag-waving national pride. Click here to read more...