10/19/2017

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Bastille Day

On July 14th of each year, Bastille Day is celebrated throughout France.

On July 14, 1789, after stealing guns and other weapons from the Invalides in Paris, a group of Parisian citizens made an attempt to storm the Bastille, a prison recognized by the French people as a symbol of absolute rule by Louis 16th, King of France.The reason for the attack was to secure gun powder for the weapons that were intended to be use in the fight against the French army.

When the citizens of Paris entered the Bastille, they were fired upon by the guards stationed there and more than a hundred people were killed. But before it was over, many French soldiers had rebelled and joined the citizens of France to help destroy the Bastille. This was the beginning of the end for the French monarchy.

On the same day one year later, July 14, 1790, a celebration took place throughout the country to commemorate the fall of the Bastille. Today it is celebrated as a public holiday recognizing the beginning of the French Revolution and the fact that France had become a country that would no longer be ruled by a king or anyone else who had absolute power over the French people.

Many businesses including banks and post offices are closed but many restaurants, cafes, and bars are open that day to serve the many tourists and locals who go out to celebrate. Airports, train stations, buses, taxi services, other businesses that provide transportation also open.

On Bastille Day, speeches are given and there is dancing, fireworks displays, parties, dinners, and flyovers by military aircraft. To highlight the holiday, the flag of France is flown at homes, cemeteries, and government buildings.

Color guards march to music played by bands, singers sing national songs, cadets from the French Foreign Legion and other branches of the military participate in parades and public events, and other celebrations are held throughout the country.

Bastille Day is an important holiday because the French revolution was seen around the world as a referendum on freedom from the grips of monarchies that had held absolute power in France and other countries in Europe and around the world.

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