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Bastille Day 2023

Authored by British Online Archives
Published on 14th July, 2023 1 min read

Bastille Day

Today (14/07/2023) is Bastille Day (the "Fête nationale française"), a national holiday celebrated throughout France and its overseas territories, as well as in former French colonies, including parts of Canada and India. 

The event commemorates the storming of the Bastille Saint-Antoine in Paris, a historical landmark which, many argue, sparked the beginning of one of the most dramatic and consequential political upheavals in modern history: the French Revolution. On this day, in 1789, a crowd of protestors captured the Bastille fortress – then used as a prison for political opponents of the government – and released the inmates. This building encapsulated the authoritarian nature of France’s Ancien Régime. Its seizure marked a profound shift in the balance of power, paving the way for the abolition of the monarchy, and the establishment of the first French Republic in 1792. Since then, the storming of the Bastille has remained symbolic of opposition to tyranny and oppression across the world.

In Paris, the day is marked by a grand traditional military parade on the Champs-Elysées. The parade begins at the Arc de Triomphe and continues to the Place de la Concorde, where the President of the Republic, his government, and other important guests watch on. The solemn military parade contrasts with the festive atmosphere at firework displays which are held through France, including at the iconic Eiffel Tower.

Authored by British Online Archives

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The British Online Archives Notable Days diary is a platform intended to mark key dates and events throughout the year. The posts draw attention to historical events and figures, as well as recurring cultural traditions and international awareness days, in both religious and secular contexts.

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