What Does Bastille Day Celebrate?


Quick Answer

Bastille Day celebrates the storming of the Bastille, a Parisian prison, marking the start of the French Revolution in 1789. It is also known as French National Day, or La Fete Nationale, and it is France's Independence Day. Bastille Day is celebrated on July 14 each year in France.

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Full Answer

The French people revolted against the government and stormed the Bastille, which held only seven prisoners at the time, freeing the prisoners and gaining control of a large amount of ammunition and gunpowder. Feudalism was shortly abolished following the revolt on August 4, and the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was proclaimed on August 26. France celebrated its unity the following July 14.

Bastille Day is marked by a large military parade that is the biggest and oldest in Europe. It occurs on Paris's Champs-Elysees, and it is attended by French government officials and the population at large. Local wreath-laying celebrations and other festivities are also held throughout France.

Bastille Day is celebrated in other countries as well, including Belgium, the Czech Republic, Hungary, India and the United Kingdom. Over 50 cities in the United States hold annual Bastille Day celebrations, including the largest one held at Roland Park in Baltimore, MD.

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