Bastille Day 2012, France
Bastille Day is observed with lot of pomp and gaiety by French citizens who celebrate this day to commemorate the victory of the citizens against the tyrant French Monarchy. This festival is a national holiday in France and is celebrated on July 14th every year. It is led by a military procession from the Arc de Triumph to the Place de la Concorde. The celebrations start from 10.00 a.m in the morning and continue well into midnight.
The history behind this festival is as interesting as its grand celebration. France, in the 17th century, was ruled by French monarchy, headed by King Louis XIV who was hated by most of his general public. The turmoil that the country was going through , reached its zenith when the citizens revolted against the king and uprooted the monarchy by destroying the prison of Bastille in 1789. This upheaval led to the fall of the French monarchy, thereby, establishing the government that was formed by the commoners. This movement also gave birth to the present flag of France which is tricolored, each colour representing three morals or principals: liberty, quality and fraternity. With the formation of the new government, the king’s rule came to an abrupt end, thereby, paving way for economic development and growth.
Bastille Day celebrations are a must watch, if you are planning to visit France. The whole city of Paris comes alive with fireworks, fly pasts and parades that will mesmerize any visitor. The morning celebrations begin with a pompous parade by the French military forces which begins from the Arc de Triumph, passing through the Champs Elysees, to the Place de la Concorde. The sight of tri colour French flags and happy faces of citizens makes this day, worth remembering. For most visitors, watching men in uniform is an experience and this becomes more exciting when it is coupled with fireworks and drums. To see the president, leading the parade, is out of this world and can never be forgotten. The celebrations do not end here. Thousands of people gather at the Champ de Mars Park which is situated exactly below the famous Eiffel tower to witness one of the world’s most extravagant fireworks. The entire night sky gets illuminated and merry making just begins with various pubs and restaurants offering their own private parties and dance nights. For those who wish to celebrate the Bastille Day, one day in advance, the Place de la Bastille square offers dance nights where people gather to enjoy and have fun.
Visitors traveling to France, for participating in the Bastille Day festivities, need to reserve their hotel rooms, well in advance, owing to an increased tourist flow to Paris. It is best suggested that they visit the websites of the famous hotels to check their availability during the festival time. Many of the shops and arcades remain closed during the Bastille Day celebrations as it is the national holiday of FRANCE. However, shops and cafes do remain open for tourists. For those travelers who are planning to visit other nearby places to witness this festival, it would be suggested that they find out the details about railway stations and highways that connect various nearby places . This would prevent any unnecessary hassles and worries.
France is a well known tourist destination. However, it becomes even more attractive during the Bastille Day celebration. The pomp and grandeur of this festival draws millions of tourists to this country, who come here to witness one of the world’s most revered and extravagant parades. The Bastille Day is the day to make merry and to forget your worries. Come enjoy this day like there is no tomorrow!