To start, you shan’t call it ‘Bastille Day’ while on French soil, unless you’d like to face confused looks and raised eyebrows. Known nationally as Fête nationale française, or French National Day, it is celebrated throughout the country in every city, town and commune.
Being a national holiday, French revelers will enjoy a day off work, and subsequently go out to party the night before. The day of the 14th involves parades in local town centers, though many spend the day sleeping in as if a typical Sunday. Families and friends often take a picnic with bread, cheese, and maybe even a bit of champagne. Restaurants serve specific quatorze juillet menus and the parks are filled with locals playing pétanque. There are varying festivities often with dancing, firework displays, and special illuminations.
While in France, you’ll want to meet others to share the fun. It’s easier to do so on a guided tour, where you’ll travel with like-minded people to celebrate the Bastille Day festivities – like on our Normandy, Brittany & The Loire Valley tour. You’ll also learn about the history and context of Fête nationale française from a Local Specialist, who knows the culture inside out.