Today is the 225th anniversary of Bastille Day, or Fête National, which is France’s annual national holiday. Le Quatorze Juillet commemorates the start of the French Revolution as a tribute to the demonstrators who stormed Paris’ Bastille prison on July 14, 1789 and led to the creation of a constitutional republic.
If you’re not in France, it may be hard to take part in the country’s annual military parade down the Champs Elysees, fireworks displays above the Eiffel Tower and ubiquitous firemen’s balls. However, no matter where in the world you are, you sure to find an opportunity to celebrate the holiday with parties now held in England, Belgium, Hungary, South Africa, French Polynesia, Canada, Vietnam and more.
In the United States, cities all over the country are holding regional event with New Orleans leading the party tally–the city is planning countless events, including concerts, waiters races and the traditional Council of French Societies wreath laying ceremony at the Statue of Jeanne d’Arc in the French Market. In Washington D.C. the French bakery, Paul, will hosts its fourth annual Bastille Day Baguette Relay Race, whereby participants pass off baguettes instead of batons, at the U.S. Navy Memorial. Celebrations are also being held in Dallas, Texas, where the “Bastille on Bishop” street festival will take over the district of Oak Cliff. (According to the New York Times, the area around Oak Cliff was once home to a 1200-acre utopian community for French-speaking colonists.)
For travelers interested in experiencing Bastille Day the authentic way next year, Celebrity’s Xfinity offers a number of summer sailings that begin their journeys from Le Havre (Paris).