La Fête Nationale

16 Comments

The Joy and Experience of Finally Getting to Properly Celebrate La Fête Nationale

I never had good luck when it came to celebrating the national holiday in France. The day that my family moved away from France was July 14th, the day I moved back to France was July 14th. I never quite had good luck, always in transit on the day that I've always wanted to celebrate. So in 2015, before moving back to the US, I was determined to witness this holiday. I was not leaving France without celebrating it. And I wasn't disappointed!


First off, let me correct everyone by saying, no, it's not called Bastille Day, it's called la Fête Nationale, or the National Holiday. That's because this holiday celebrates more than just the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, it celebrates the creation of the French Republic.

the beginning, just when we thought we would have a lot of space

The day began around one or two in the afternoon, heading to the Champs de Mars to find a good seat in the grass so that we could see the fireworks that evening. Fortunately, or unfortunately for my cousin, it was a nice warm day out, which meant lots of sun burns.

my cousin, hiding from sun to protect from a sunburn

A few hours into waiting we had played as many games as possible to stay entertained. More and more people started coming, and how they managed to find a seat on the grass is beyond my knowledge. It seemed that blanket was laid upon blanket, attempting to take up as much space as possible.

more people joining the waiting game

Then came the time to brave finding dinner. Only one small grocery store was in the vicinity and it was like a scene from a disaster movie. Everything was ransacked, people were fighting over tomatoes. Luckily I found sliced ham and cheese and found a loaf of bread. Dinner of champions.

as the sun set, the national anthem was played 

Finally as the time got closer, they played La Marseillaise on repeat and everyone was singing along. It made me feel truly French to sing with my fellow citizens, the national anthem, everyone in good spirits.


Finally the show began. Fireworks, accompanied by music, told a story of the importance of world tolerance and the beauty of different cultures. It was absolutely beautiful and made spending eight hours on itchy grass completely worth it. A once in a lifetime opportunity! And I am so glad that I finally got to witness it!

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16 comments:

  1. Happy La Fete Nationale! I was about to write 'Bastille Day' before reading your post! The atmosphere looks insane, and so patriotic! Hope you had a good day!

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    1. Haha well thank you! I did thank you!

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  2. I can see from your images how spectacular the celebration of the national day was. The picnic underneath the Eiffel Tower looks so cute and I can't believe how many people gathered around to see the fireworks launched on the national anthem of France. it must have been a very proud feeling when everyone started to sing it along.

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    1. It was very fun! There were a lot of tourists too, so they learned the words!

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  3. This looks like a great day. I feel sorry for your sunburnt cousin though! The fireworks look amazing. Looks busy but good fun, glad you managed to grab some food from the empty shelves for dinner!

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    1. She received luckily! And I learned my lesson for the food for next time!

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  4. Wow, that's a lot of people! Yay that you finally got to celebrate the big day with amazing fireworks.

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  5. Glad you managed to finally celebrate the National Day and I love how people all come together in common places and just relax and mingle and enjoy this holiday. The Eiffel Tower looks majestic as ever around the fireworks.

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    1. Yes! There are celebrations all over France but Paris is by far the biggest, and most popular among Parisians and tourists

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  6. Oh God the crowd! I can totally feel the vibe of the place through your pictures. Such a happy and prod feeling - and the fireworks, the wait was totally worth it. BTW Belated Happy National Day :)

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    1. I normally hate crowds but that day was fun since everyone was happy and getting to know each other. And thank you :)

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  7. Wow lovely fireworks show with Eiffel Tower on National day of France. Finding a good seat looks tricky as it is too much crowded. But after long day of waiting it is really worth.

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    1. You have to get there early but it is so worth it!

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  8. The joy of celebrating the national day at your home country is always something which is hard to explain. It truly comes out through your pictures and description of your experience. It's a very proud feeling to sing your national anthem with a whole lot of your countrymen in chorus.

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    1. You're so right, words cannot describe the feeling!

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