Vive La France! Bastille Day Around the World

By Cecily Gamba

In France, July 14th marks the celebration of la fête nationale, or as we Americans know it, Bastille Day. Remembering and honoring the storming of the Bastille prison in Paris in 1789, the French spend the day parading, eating, drinking, and setting off fireworks.

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If hopping on a plane and jetting off to Paris to join in the fun just isn’t in the cards for you right now, have no fear! Many cities around the world toast to the historic turning point in the French Revolution with celebrations of their own (including Sonoma! 😉).

Bastille Day in New Orleans. Image by Dwayne Fatherree.

New Orleans, Louisiana, US

Being “the most French” city in the United States, New Orleans is obligated to celebrate the French holiday, and in the neighborhood of Faubourg St John, they don’t disappoint. Their Bastille Day Fête features live French music and local foods.

London, United Kingdom

London’s Borough Market transforms with French pride on Bastille Day, walking through to pick up French wine, cheese, and cassoulet is a must, doing so in a striped shirt and beret is encouraged.

Pondicherry, India

In 1674, the French East India Company established their headquarters in this coastal town, and have held a strong French connection ever since. Enjoy Bollywood and Can Can dancers in the city parade before settling in for a spectacular fireworks show.