Bastille Day is the day of celebrating French life and culture. It is a Fete National; National Celebration similar to Independence Day in the US even though here we actually celebrate the storming of the Bastille political prison, which was a representation of the injustice that many felt towards the french monarchy. It was ravaged and destroyed during the French Revolution.
There was an economic crisis and people were fed up with Louis XVI, so here began the french culture of fighting back the system.
In Paris, as well as other major cities, it’s a day of military parade and airshows as well as nighttime fireworks.
What do the French do?
Typically it’s a public holiday where you can have a picnic with your family and friends. It’s one of the most loved french summer days for little kids because its an event to go to either see the parade or fireworks. In Paris I used to take Pierre along the Champs Elysee when he was little with his grandparents.
July 13th – Fireman’s Ball
The days up to Bastille day – especially the 13th – are important too because this is the much yearly anticipated Bals des Pompiers – Fireman’s Ball in every neighborhood. When everyone from kids to adults go out to dance and listen to music the local fire station
Needless to say, this is also the day to let loose and be seen, et bien sur “drague” which means to pick-up who you want
The best ones I’ve been have been in my old hood in the 2nd and along the canal at the 19th
This year 2021 it has unfortunately been canceled due to the sanitary conditions of Covid.
Other Things to do
There is a light show that happens at Les Invalide, the burial place of Napoleon
WHERE TO TAKE IN THE PARADE
From 10 am on the Champs Elysee, but each person must have a Sanitary Pass (vaccination, or a negative PCR test).
WHERE TO SEE THE FIREWORK AT EIFFEL TOWER
Head to Champs de Mars from 9 pm to 11 pm with a concert from The National France Orchester
3 avenue Anatole France 75007 PARIS
HOW TO MOVE AROUND
Be reminded that some metros will be closed such as Tuileries, Concorde, Champs-Elysées Clémenceau, Franklin D.Roosevelt, Georges V and Charles de Gaulle Etoile. You will have to get out at other stops and walk.