Each year on the 14th of July, France celebrates its national holiday, with events happening in Australia for both the French community and French culture enthusiasts. In Sydney, the Alliance Française is notably organising a Bastille Day party at the Argyle. This year’s theme, “Around the World,” will allow guests to experience culture from beyond mainland France, notably New Caledonia and French Polynesia, as well as West Africa.
With celebrations kicking off tomorrow, now is a good time for Francophiles to learn a few little-known facts about this noteworthy occasion.
- It’s not just about the Bastille
When parliamentarians reunited to decide on a date for a national day, the task was not easy. The year was 1880, 91 years after the storming of the Bastille jail, and France had seen multiple Republics, Empires, and even a Restoration of the Monarchy.
The 14 of July 1789 is the exact date of the storming of the royal jail by the revolutionary, but it was also associated with violence at the time. One year after that, on the 14th of July 1790, a uniting “Festival of the Federation” was held. Former absolute King Louis XVI was present and vowed to honour the young French constitutional monarchy.
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