Bastille Day in Saint Martin in 2020

  How long until Bastille Day?
This holiday next takes place in 235 days.
  Dates of Bastille Day in Saint Martin
2021 Saint Martin Wed, Jul 14 National Holiday
2020 Saint Martin Tue, Jul 14 National Holiday
2019 Saint Martin Sun, Jul 14 National Holiday
2018 Saint Martin Sat, Jul 14 National Holiday
  Summary
Bastille Day celebrates the birth of the French Republic and marks the storming of the Bastille in 1789
  Local name
Fête nationale
  Bastille Day in other countries
Bastille Day internationally

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 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.

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.

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 and colourful fairs 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!

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.

The Bastille was originally a royal state prison built in the 1370s to defend Paris from the English during the Hundred Years War

The rooster is a widely used symbol of France. The symbol drives from a Roman pun - the Latin word 'Gallus' means both 'rooster' and 'inhabitant of Gaul', the roman name for France.

More facts about Bastille Day

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