A Different Kind of Independence Day

When you think about all there is to see and do in the US, it’s sometimes hard to imagine we are really such a “young” country. To put it in perspective, while there is not really a specific date marking the founding of France, the year 843 is generally accepted at the “birthdate,” which is shortly after when King Louis I died and his kingdom was divided among his sons to form what is now known as France and Germany. When you do the math, that would make France 1172 years old, whereas the US is only 239 year old (from July 4th 1776), making us veritable “babies” in comparison.

While we have just celebrated our country’s Independence Day, France also recently celebrated theirs, better known as Bastille Day. Our 4th of July is generally marked with family barbeques, beach parties, and other outdoor gatherings culminating in some form of fireworks display complete with all the appropriate “Ooo’s” and “Ahh’s.” It is interesting to learn how France celebrates their Independence Day.

Bastille Day, also known as “La Fête Nationale” in French, falls on July 14th and marks the day the French citizens stormed the Bastille, starting the French Revolution and the country’s march toward democracy. Like us, there are celebrations across the country and plenty of spectacular fireworks displays, but there are also some long-standing traditions observed every year.

One of the most patriotic traditions is the annual military parade, which showcases each branch of the country’s military. In Paris, this parade marches up the Champs Elysées, where you might find an Art or Music Festival and French flags are the most prominent decoration covering every possible space available.

The other major tradition is the Bastille Day Feast, which is a lavish and extensive meal consisting of several courses ending with a particularly special dessert. This is a meal meant to enjoy over several hours, so it is not unusual for it to start midday and continue on into the evening.

If you are looking for a change of pace, why not experience a different kind of Independence Day by visiting France and enjoying their wonderful celebration. We can help you plan every detail. Give us a call… and don’t forget to…

… LIKE US on Facebook!

Liz and Mike Kohler

Visit us at:

We specialize in family travel to Europe and Central America creating memories to last a lifetime.

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