compass image and text: Culture Quest World Tour Ophelia Owl on the arm of Parsifal Peguin

HOLIDAYS OF FRANCE


Bastille Day


July 14:

This National holiday in France, is similar to Independence Day in the United States. As the symbol of the monarchy's end and the beginning of the Republic, Bastille Day is rooted in the march on the Bastille. On July 14, 1789 the people of Paris stormed the Bastille, a state prison that represented the dictatorship of the monarchy. The storming of the Bastille immediately proved that power belonged to the people, and not to the King. As a result, the people in France celebrate Bastille Day as the beginning of the French Revolution, which brougt significant changes to the government. Today, Bastille Day includes a military parade up the Champs Elysees in the presence of the head of state. Also, each commune holds local dances and fireworks. Citizens celebrate in honor of the historical birth of the Republic, and recognize liberty and democracy.


Armistice Day


November 11:

Every November 11th, the French remember the events of World War I and World War II. Veterans of the wars march in parades and wreaths are placed at the base of monuments honoring the dead. The media offer special broadcasts recognizing the public holiday, in which schools are closed. Armistice Day is also celebrated in the United States and England with similar memorial services and ceremonies, such as The buring of unknown soldiers in the nation's highest place of honor, the Arc de Triomphe in France. This day honors the sacrifice made during the world wars for freedom.