French National Day in Paris
Bastille Day, the national day of France, is celebrated on 14 July. This symbolic date in the middle of summer is the ideal time to go out and enjoy the many popular demonstrations and festive events: the fireworks, the popular balls or firemen's ball, the military parades...
14 July refers to the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789. This historical event marks the beginning of the French Revolution and the end of absolute monarchy. The date 14 July also represents the Fête de la Fédération. One year after the storming of the Bastille, on 14 July 1790, this great event marked the reconciliation of the king and the French people.
In 1880, the date of 14 July became a collective holiday for the French. 14 July, the bank holidays, is also declared a public holiday.
Events on 14 July
On the morning of 14 July in Paris, there is the famous military parade along the Avenue des Champs-Elysées. This year's theme is "Sharing the Flame". This theme refers to the army-nation link, to the flame of the Resistance embodied by Hubert Germain, the last companion of the Liberation who died last year, and to the Olympic flame of which France is now the custodian until the Olympic Games of Paris 2024.
No less than 4,000 soldiers and civilians marching on foot, 240 horsemen, 460 vehicles and about twenty aircraft. The main French armed forces and police forces are represented.
Detachments from foreign armies are also invited. This year, the parade will honour Ukraine, the European countries of the Eastern flank and the French troops deployed there within the framework of NATO.
Bulgaria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and the Czech Republic will march on the Champs, each with a block of 60 soldiers and a flag. 61 land forces (including 12 Belgians), 30 air forces and 30 sailors will follow these squares of Eastern Europe, an area where they have been operating since 24 February and the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
The parade will end with music. The artist Candice Parise will perform a song specially composed for the occasion, entitled France.
The flypast, in which several European aircraft will participate, including two Greek Rafales, will open with the traditional passage of the Patrouille de France and will end with the flight of a Reaper drone, used in the Sahel to track down jihadists.
In order to observe the traditional flypast offered by the Patrouille de France, we advise you to go to the roof of the Grande Arche de la Défense from 8.30 am. At 10:30 am, all the planes and helicopters of the Patrouille de France will fly over the roof in the historical axis of Paris, only a few dozen metres above the roof.
To continue this National Day atmosphere, a brass band, refreshment bar and guinguette entertainment will also be on the programme for this 14 July. Note that the number of places is limited, so remember to book.
Concert and fireworks
The Orchestre National de France, the Maîtrise and the Chœur de Radio France are organising a major free symphonic concert at the foot of the Eiffel Tower on Thursday 14 July 2022 at 9.15pm on the Champ-de-Mars in Paris.
As Radio France indicates on its website, access to the Champ-de-Mars is free and without reservation. Therefore, Radio France asks spectators to anticipate the security controls at the entrances by arriving 45 minutes before the concerts.
Then, the fireworks are fired from the Eiffel Tower and the Trocadero gardens from 11pm, for a duration of about 30 minutes. It. This year, the city hall of Paris wished to make its fireworks on the theme of freedom.
The realisation of these fireworks is a technical feat. A large-scale device is set up for the occasion: dozens of technicians, fireworkers, lighting and sound specialists, putting their know-how at the service of an impressive show.
Activities to do during the week
Cruise on the Seine
The Bateaux Parisiens offer you a prestigious evening: a dinner-cruise on the Seine on the occasion of the National Holiday. You will have the opportunity to enjoy a gastronomic dinner cooked on board by a chef in a romantic and comfortable setting, with an orchestra providing the musical entertainment. You will be able to contemplate the main monuments of Paris and admire the fireworks of July 14th.
The Army Museum
To stay in the atmosphere of the parade, go to the Musée de l'Armée. It is located at Les Invalides, a stone's throw from the Champs-Élysées roundabout. The rooms are closed on this public holiday, but you can meet the troops on the esplanade! .
In the evening, the show La Nuit aux Invalides (Night at the Invalides) will plunge you into the great hours of French history, through the projection of monumental images in the courtyard of honour of the superb Hôtel des Invalides.
To continue this beautiful evening, why not take part in one of the very famous Parisian firemen's balls? Spread out between the nights of 13 and 14 July, these events usually gather a good number of participants, as they are traditionally very popular. Balls are organised in several fire stations in the capital.
To cool off on hot summer days, the Paris Plages summer operation is back from 9 July to 22 August. Take advantage of free relaxation and leisure areas along the banks of the Seine and at the Bassin de la Villette.