Monday, July 14, 2014

Bastille Day

Allons enfants de la patrie!

It's the 14th of July, also known as Bastille Day, the day France celebrates the revolution and becoming a republic. Citizens celebrate across the nation, in a rare moment of flag-waving national pride. That's not to say the French don't have national pride - most French people are very proud to be French - it's just that it's not in the culture to actually wave a flag, the way so many Americans do.

But on July 14th you see parties and picnics, fireworks and festivities - celebrations everywhere.

Bastille Day: The Paris Air Show
By Jastrow (Own work) [CC-BY-2.5], via Wikimedia Commons

My favorite is the air show in Paris, where jets and fighter planes from the French military zoom surprisingly low across the Parisian skyline. It's a fascinating glimpse into France's air fleet and it amazes me how low they fly, right through the city. Post-9/11, that just doesn't happen in the US.

I work in La Défense, the business district of Paris stacked with skyscrapers. Last year, the loud whoosh of the jets interrupted one of my meetings, as my colleagues and I ran to the windows to watch the planes do their practice runs. From our angle, the wings nearly clipped the buildings!

This year I lucked out and managed to catch a test flight on video. Enjoy:

If you're in Paris on July 14th, be sure to check out the air show to enjoy this unique aspect of French culture. Though I don't think you could miss it!

Another View

Fellow American writer in Paris, Adria J. Cimino, is co-hosting the "Paris in July" event this year and has invited me along. She and I are writing about similar themes throughout the month, sharing our different perspectives. For Bastille Day, she writes about the Bal de Pompiers:

Author Adria J. Cimino
So how do Parisians spend Bastille Day? Festivities begin with BBQs and the annual "Firefighters' Ball" on July 13 and celebrations culminate with the Paris fireworks display over the Eiffel Tower on the night of the 14th. "What's this about the firefighters hosting a party?" you might ask...

Read the full post here

Paris in July: Musings on the City of Light

This post is part of "Paris in July," an annual Paris-themed blogging event created by Karen at A Wondering Life and Tamara at Thyme for Tea. Join in the fun and check out their sites for awesome posts about the City of Light, contributed from bloggers around the world!

More "Paris in July" Posts

7/1: Paris in July: Kickin' It Off
7/5: Taking on the Marais with Vicki and Lily
7/9: Paris A to Z
7/11: Life is Better in Flip Flops
7/12: I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Berthillon
7/14: Bastille Day
7/15: Les Arches d'Or
7/21: French Optimism
7/22: This One Time In Paris
7/24: Collect Moments, Not Things
7/26: Writing in Paris
7/31: Paris in July: Looking Ahead to August

Escape to Paris

Vicki Lesage, Author