la Fête Nationale


Menerbes, France, October 2016.

Liberté. Equalité. et Fraternité.

Bastille Day is near, 14 juillet . A day to celebrate all things French.

Time for le pique-nique! Open up the rosé, spread out the charcuterie, baguette, and brie. Having an outdoor party that involves eating, drinking and reveling in good times seems good enough reason as any to fête.

Enough is Enough

Historically, Bastille was a medieval fortress and prison in Paris. It was a symbol of tyrannical Bourbon monarchy. As in such oppressive instances, the people eventually had enough with their ruling party. On July 14, 1789, troops stormed the Bastille. A mob broke out and nearly 100 people died. Ultimately, only seven elderly prisoners were discovered and released.  More than numbers, however, is the significance of the republic’s overthrow of authority and the beginning of a modern, beautiful nation.

Louis XVI and his wife, Marie Antoinette, were ultimately executed. Eventually, the Bastille itself was destroyed and what remains is a monument standing amidst a cobbled square.

Too Much

Last year, there was a terrorist attack in Nice, France killing over 84 innocent revelers and injuring more than 200 on Bastille Day. These accounts are infuriating, tragic and inconceivable. Sadly, it’s become a state of reality. We shouldn’t need violence to remind us to appreciate the things we take for granted in life but it’s adversity that builds inner strength and refines our purpose.

In the spirit of the revolutionaries in both this country and our French friends who gifted us the Statue of Liberty, we all strive to defend our independence. What better way to express our freedoms than to partake in a soirée.

Time to Fête

Today, Bastille Day is and should be a day of celebration. Let’s hope it’s a peaceful one this year too. I’m unleashing my inner Francophile with macarons, champagne, Camembert and a viewing of Marion Cotillard and Guillaume Canet’s Rock ‘n Roll. Get your fête on.

Celebrating selective international holidays in our household is another way to reflect and educate ourselves on other cultures. I’ve been lucky to have traveled to France seven times, and each visit introduces me to another regional wine, delicacy, lifestyle, history or dialect. Each time I find another reason to return.

Are there national holidays you celebrate? How do you commemorate the 4th of July or even Bastille Day?

I wrote about celebrating another fun international holiday here.

2 thoughts on “la Fête Nationale

  1. Tama McConnell

    We will celebrate with after camp wine and cheese!!!! Maybe I can find some french games to play at camp!!!!

    1. Jennifer | TheInterCulture Post author

      Oh that sounds like the perfect fete! I’m sure kids would love to “storm the castle” or fly the flag or put on a mini parade. But even kids find it hard to resist a picnic. What a fun way to celebrate the evening. Enjoy!!


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