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    Bastille Day: History, significance and how it is celebrated

    Bastille Day: History, significance and how it is celebrated

    Bastille Day: History, significance and how it is celebrated
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    By CNBCTV18.com  IST (Updated)

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    The National Day of France, also known as Bastille Day, is one of the most important days in the history of the nation, as it marks the fall of the Bastille, a military fortress and political prison, then considered a symbol of the monarchy and armoury.

    The National Day of France, also known as Bastille Day, is celebrated on July 14 every year. Known as La Fête Nationale or Le 14 Juillet in French, the day is celebrated with fireworks and a parade. One of the most important days in the history of the nation, it marks the fall of the Bastille, a military fortress and political prison, then considered a symbol of the monarchy and armoury.
    History of Bastille Day
    On July 14, 1789, the Parisians attacked the Bastille, signalling the beginning of the French Revolution against the harsh rule of the monarchy.
    After storming the Bastille, the people seized weapons and ammunition to fight the royal troops. This signalled the first victory of the people of Paris against the ‘Ancien Régime’ (Old Regime). The edifice was later razed to the ground.
    On July 14, 1790, the Fête de la Fédération, or the Feast of the Federations, was celebrated by the people to inaugurate a new era and abolish absolutism. Thousands of people from all provinces gathered at the Champ de Mars in Paris where Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord conducted a Mass at the Altar of the Fatherland.
    However, the July 14 celebrations were abandoned in subsequent years. On July 6, 1880, the Parliament passed an act to make July 14 a national holiday of the Republic.
    Significance
    From the beginning, the day symbolises the victory of the people. The day was celebrated with great fervour in 1919 after the austerity of the 1914-18 First World War. Similarly, July 14, 1945, saw three days of civic revelry.
    How is it celebrated?
    Every year, traditional parades, fireworks and events, along with public revelry, are held to mark the day, which is a symbol of unity among the French people.
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