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  • Bastille Day in France – The Definitive Guide for Travellers

    • July 9, 2024

    One of the major events of France, Bastille Day in France, is just around the corner. Paris, the main host of this amazing event is getting ready to host a variety of events and celebrations for everyone. But, what is the Bastille day all about? Why is it celebrated? What to expect? All these questions will be answered in this guide. Read on!

    What is Bastille Day in France?

    The Bastille Day, also popularly called the “le Quatorze Juillet” is a national holiday in France. It is celebrated annually by the locals on the 14th July.

    Did you know? The celebration first became official in 1880 to commemorate key events in French history.

    History of Bastille Day

    Here are the major events for which Bastille Day is celebrated:

    1). The Bastille Storming in 1789

    This is an important event in French history. That is because this was the day on which the French Revolution started.

    On this day, an angry mob attacked the Bastille prison in Paris. They were angry on the king and the unfair disparity between the rich and the poor.

    So, they attacked the prison which stood as a symbol of the absolute power of the king. In this attack, many prisoners were freed and a lot of weapons were seized.

    This was one of the first victories for the local people over the old French monarchy!

    2). The Fête de la Fédération (Feast of the Federation)

    This is the one year after the events in 1789. On this day, around 300,000 met at a specially constructed amphitheatre. The reason – to celebrate the anniversary of the storming of Bastille prison. All of these celebrations meant that France was celebrating its national holiday for the very first time!

    Want to check out this amazing event in France? Apply online France visa to ensure a seamless trip to France today!

    Major Attractions of Bastille Day Celebrations

    1). The Popular Bastille Day Parade

    One of the most important celebrations during the Bastille Day is the military parade of France. It is also called as défilé militaire. This amazing parade was first introduced in 1880.

    This parade comprises around thousands of military officers and police coupled with hundreds of horses. Then there are more than 500 vehicles that come down from the Arc de Triomphe to Place de la Concorde and Champs-Élysées avenue of Paris.

    A key highlight of this parade is the colorful military flyover of more than a dozen aircraft. These planes trail the colors of blue white and red which are essentially the French national flag’s colours.

    Try spotting the current French Republic President who will be tagging along with the top officials of France during the parade.

    Interesting fact: The event also helps build diplomatic ties with other nations. So, you may get to see troops from other countries or top-ranking officials from other countries like the Prime Minister or President.

    2). Speech from the President – A Televised Address

    This speech was first introduced by President Valéry Giscard d’Estaing. It was done in the year 1970 as a tradition where a head of the state of France. This became an annual tradition which is just like the ones that the president gives on 31st December.

    3). Champs de Mars Concert

    This Bastille day celebration is a relatively new tradition which is essentially a classical music Concert. This new event takes place under the Eiffel Tower which is also called as Champs de Mars. The concert will be around 2 hours and has been around for almost 11 years!

    Get ready to see some special performances by world-famous artists and opera singers. The concert will take place in the evening so make your plans accordingly.

    As the concert will be televised, you can watch it in TV if you feel like staying in your room after attending the morning celebrations.

    Interesting fact: The concert will be performed by none other than the French National Orchestra.

    4). Bastille Day Fireworks – Don’t Miss Them!

    These amazing fireworks are one of the best parts of Bastille day celebrations!

    Head over to the famous Eiffel Tower to watch it light up with some of the most magical fireworks. This 30-minute firework display starts as soon as the Paris Concert is over.

    The Bastille day fireworks will start around 11 pm and go on till 11.35 pm. If you want to enjoy the best views of the fireworks then grab a spot early at the Champs de Mars. That is because, this place will be filled with lots of people on Bastille Day. However, if you are not getting a place there, try to go on a tall building or a nearby hill. That is because the fireworks will be visible from many parts of Paris!

    Did you know? The fireworks follow a certain theme and it was “Freedom” for last year. This year, the theme of the fireworks in “Liberty”.

    5). The Firemen’s Ball – A Unique Celebration on Bastille Day

    The Firemen’s Ball also known as the “Bal des pompiers” first started in 1937.

    It is said that during the 1937 Bastille celebrations, the firefighters took part in the parade. After the parade, the firefighters were followed by exuberant citizens. As part of the excitement, the firefighters welcomed the citizens into their fire station. Since, then, the tradition has remained to this day!

    Did you know? On 13th and 14th of July, France’s fire stations open their doors to host parties for the public. These parties include music and a bar as well!


    The Bastille Day is an amazing way to remember and reminisce French history. With fascinating parades, speeches, exciting music concerts and scenic fireworks, it is the perfect event for a France holiday. So, make sure to book your France visa appointment today for a hassle-free trip to France and memorable Bastille Day celebrations with loved ones!


    What happened on Bastille Day?

    On July 14, 1789, an angry mob stormed the Bastille fortress, a symbol of the French monarchy’s absolute power. This event sparked the French Revolution and the eventual overthrow of the monarchy.

    When did Bastille Day become a national holiday?

    Although the first Bastille Day celebration was held in 1790, it wasn’t until 1880 that a law was passed to make July 14th an official national holiday in France.

    How is Bastille Day celebrated in France?

    Bastille Day is celebrated across France with military parades, fireworks displays, concerts, and public revelry. The largest celebration takes place in Paris, with a grand military parade down the Champs-Élysées.