Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bastille Day!

On Wednesday, July 14th France celebrated Bastille Day (commemorating the storming of the Bastille prison in 1789) or as the French call it La Fête Nationale.  In true French style, the holiday is actually celebrated on the 13th and 14th of July and the whole city joins in the celebration.  It's really quite fun and since it takes place so close to our 4th of July it makes it very easy to join in the celebration of national pride, even though I'm not French.

On Tuesday night I went to a free concert at la marie du 3e arrondissement de la Ville de Paris (the town hall in the 3rd district) with the Frenchie.  It was a lot of fun!  The band that played while we were there was fantastic and they sang a lot of Motown and other older American songs, then they sang a Spanish song and finally after half a dozen other songs, they sang an old French song by Edith Piaf.  It was funny to see the Frenchies singing along to the American songs and dancing and clapping along, even though it was a celebration for France.  I thought to myself how funny it would be if we played and danced along to French music on the 4th of July- that would never fly!

The next night, the 14th, was the big fireworks display.  I met up with some friends in front of the École Militaire (military school) near the end of the Champs de Mars with a great view of the Eiffel Tower and the beautiful fireworks display.  The was a really large crowd of spectators and lots of celebrating (large groups were singing and setting off smaller fireworks all around).  The fireworks display was really good.  It had an International theme and music was played during the display to enhance the show.

It was great to get to see fireworks over the Eiffel Tower and to have been a part of a national holiday in France while I was here.  Viva la France!!!


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