Bastille Day around the world in 2024

  How long until Bastille Day?
Bastille Day
  Dates of Bastille Day around the world
2025 Various Jul 14
FranceMon, Jul 14National Holiday
French GuianaMon, Jul 14National Holiday
French PolynesiaMon, Jul 14National Holiday
GuadeloupeMon, Jul 14National Holiday
MartiniqueMon, Jul 14National Holiday
New CaledoniaMon, Jul 14National Holiday
Saint MartinMon, Jul 14National Holiday
Wallis and FutunaMon, Jul 14National Holiday
2024 Various Jul 14
FranceSun, Jul 14National Holiday
French GuianaSun, Jul 14National Holiday
French PolynesiaSun, Jul 14National Holiday
GuadeloupeSun, Jul 14National Holiday
MartiniqueSun, Jul 14National Holiday
New CaledoniaSun, Jul 14National Holiday
Saint MartinSun, Jul 14National Holiday
Wallis and FutunaSun, Jul 14National Holiday
2023 Various Jul 14
FranceFri, Jul 14National Holiday
French GuianaFri, Jul 14National Holiday
French PolynesiaFri, Jul 14National Holiday
GuadeloupeFri, Jul 14National Holiday
MartiniqueFri, Jul 14National Holiday
New CaledoniaFri, Jul 14National Holiday
Saint MartinFri, Jul 14National Holiday
Wallis and FutunaFri, Jul 14National Holiday
2022 Various Jul 14
FranceThu, Jul 14National Holiday
French GuianaThu, Jul 14National Holiday
French PolynesiaThu, Jul 14National Holiday
GuadeloupeThu, Jul 14National Holiday
MartiniqueThu, Jul 14National Holiday
New CaledoniaThu, Jul 14National Holiday
Saint BarthélemyThu, Jul 14National Holiday
Saint MartinThu, Jul 14National Holiday
Wallis and FutunaThu, Jul 14National Holiday
2021 Various Jul 14
FranceWed, Jul 14National Holiday
French GuianaWed, Jul 14National Holiday
French PolynesiaWed, Jul 14National Holiday
GuadeloupeWed, Jul 14National Holiday
MartiniqueWed, Jul 14National Holiday
New CaledoniaWed, Jul 14National Holiday
Saint BarthélemyWed, Jul 14National Holiday
Saint MartinWed, Jul 14National Holiday
Wallis and FutunaWed, Jul 14National Holiday

Bastille Day celebrates the birth of the French Republic and marks the storming of the Bastille in 1789

  Which countries observe Bastille Day in 2024?
National Holiday Regional Holiday Not a public holiday Govt Holiday

When is Bastille Day?

Bastille Day is celebrated on July 14th and marks the birth of the French Republic. It is the National Day of France.

If July 14th falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is a holiday in lieu. If July 14th is a Thursday, it is common for many people to take the Friday off to create a 'pont' (bridge ) to the weekend.

In France, it is referred to as la Fête Nationale ("National Holiday"), le quatorze juillet (The Fourteenth of July) or la fête du 14-Juillet (14th July Holiday).

Technically the holiday marks the Fête de la Fédération of the July 14th 1790, which was a huge feast and event to celebrate the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in France.

History of Bastille Day

However, the holiday is usually seen as a celebration of the storming of the Bastille.

After years of misrule by the Monarchy with increasing taxes and higher food prices, the French people had finally united in a popular uprising in an effort to take control of their own country.

On July 14th 1789, the people of Paris banded together to march on the Bastille. The Bastille was a 14th-century medieval fortress that became a state prison. It was used by the King to imprison his opponents, often without trial and was seen as representing the despotism of the regime of Louis the 16th.

When Louis XVI asked a French duke if the storming of Bastille was a revolt on the evening of July 14th 1789, the duke replied by saying, "No, sire. It is a revolution."

The duke was correct as the storming of the prison marked the beginning of the French Revolution and came to symbolize liberty, democracy and the struggle against oppression for all the people of France.

In October, Louis XVI and his queen Marie Antoinette were taken from the Palace of Versailles by 4,000 rioters and put under house arrest at the Tuileries Palace, in the centre of Paris.

After a failed attempt to flee to Austria in 1791, tensions about how to punish the King continued, culminating in the storming of the Tuileries by a new mob and the arrest of Louis XVI in 1792. 

France was finally declared a Republic in September that year, ending the 800-year-old monarchy, and in January the following year, Louis XVI was executed by guillotine on the grounds of treason.

In the months that followed, thousands of people considered enemies of the new Republic were executed in a "Reign of Terror" - including Marie Antoinette.

On the one-year anniversary of the fall of Bastille, July 14th 1790, delegates from across the country assembled in Paris to proclaim their allegiance as one national community at the Fête de la Fédération.

In May 1880, a Parisian politician called Benjamin Raspail proposed making July 14th a national holiday to commemorate the storming of the Bastille and the Fête de la Fédération. The French Assembly passed his bill and from 1880, it has been a national holiday in France.

How is Bastille Day celebrated?

In the morning of July 14th, Parisians celebrate the holiday with a grand military parade along the Champs Élysées. Known as 'Le Défilé' (the parade), this is the oldest and largest military parade in Europe with more than 4,000 servicemen involved and is attended by the French President and other key dignitaries.

The parade began in 1870 to improve national morale after the defeat in the Franco-Prussian War.

Parties, colourful fairs and fireworks displays take place throughout France in celebration of Bastille Day.

La Fête Nationale is also a public holiday on July 14th in French Guiana, French Polynesia, Guadeloupe, Martinique, Mayotte, New Caledonia, Réunion, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, Saint Pierre et Miquelon and Wallis and Futuna.

Vive le France! Celebrate Bastille Day with your Hue lights!

Video made with InVideo.

Did you know?

Three facts about Bastille Day

One freed prisoner is said to have refused to go until he had finished his roast pheasant dinner.

France is the most visited country in the world. 83 million people visited the nation in 2012.

There are more French-speaking people in Africa than in France.

More facts about Bastille Day

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