July 10, 2014

Don't miss the incredible fireworks display at the Eiffel Tower

Being French, I am incredibly proud of my country’s history, and one of my favourite days to celebrate with my family is Bastille Day, otherwise known as La Fête Nationale. If you happen to be in France during July this year, you will be in for a treat. There are plenty of celebrations that will be taking place in various locations all over the country, but for the biggest and best firework display, I recommend heading down to Paris.

What’s Bastille Day all about?

Bastille Day commemorates the start of the French Revolution, with the storming of the Bastille that took place on 14th July, 1789, marking the fall of the tyrannical reign of the monarchy. This symbolised the start of France’s transition into the democratic republic that we have today, and led to the writing of the new constitution, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen of 26th August 1789. Alongside this piece of legislature, was the development of the modern French flag, with its three bands of colour standing for liberté, égalité, fraternité – liberty, equality and fraternity.

 Head down early to get a good view of the military parade through central Paris
Head down early to get a good view of the military parade through central Paris

Bastille Day in Paris

Bastille Day is a big deal in Paris, as it represents French independence and democratic equality, and since  14th July 1880, there has be a military parade down the Champs-Elysées. This year is no exception, with proceedings starting from around 09:10, with a fly past due to take place at 10:35, just before the parade kicks off. What will make this year’s parade extra special is that it will also honour the centenary of the start of WWI, which is sure to draw an even bigger crowd than usual, so get down early to be in with a good view.

There will be events happening all over the city throughout the day, with live music, communal meals and dances held in parks ensuring everyone has a good time. In the evening, you will find plenty to keep you entertained, including the famous annual firework display around the Eiffel Tower. This year, the sky is set to light up after dark, with the party atmosphere lasting well into the night all over the city.

 There will be plenty of live entertainment all over Paris for Bastille Day
There will be plenty of live entertainment all over Paris for Bastille Day

Elsewhere in France

Paris is by no means the only place to celebrate Bastille Day in France this year, as you will find parties underway in pretty much every town. A few of the best places to join in the revelries include Lyon, where you can join in the fun at their beach party, and enjoy the view of their hilltop firework display. In Lille, you’ll be spoilt for choice with a number of open-air Bastille Eve balls, before the main events of the day including a parade through the city centre, and an impressive fireworks display. Elsewhere, you’ll find free concerts in Avignon, picnics in the park in Bordeaux, and waterfront fireworks in Marseille.

Getting there with Eurotunnel Le Shuttle

With Eurotunnel Le Shuttle, driving to Paris for Bastille Day is a breeze. It takes just 35 minutes to cross the Channel from Folkestone to Calais, and from there it is less than a three-hour drive to Paris. As you leave the terminal, simply join the E15, which will take you all the way to Paris, where you will be able to join in with the festivities in no time. Joyeux Quatorze Juillet!

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