Events  The Grande Parade for Bastille Day
13/07/201800:00 TV5MONDE


July 14th is a day of great significance in France: it’s the National Day! It’s also referred as Bastille Day (la prise de la Bastille).


This is the day in 1789 when the Bastille Fortress, that used to be a prison in Paris, was stormed by rioters. This violent attack ended up being a total Revolution, thus the end of the monarchy. Louis XVI was the last King to reign.


Special events will be held across France. The official celebration in Paris, which includes the extraordinary “Défilé du 14 juillet”  (the military parade of July 14th), will be broadcasted on live on our channels. It happens every year on the Champs-Elysées.
Click here to check the timetable: 
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Bleu, Blanc, Rouge: the colors of France

Right before the storming of the Bastille, some revolutionaries wore a small blue and red cockade and used it as a mean of recognition. Blue and red were the two colors of Paris.

Lafayette, who directed an army of 40,000 people, gave him a blue, red and white cockade, adding the color of monarchy (white) to the colors of the revolutionaries. On February 15th 1794, the Blue, White and Red flag became the symbol of France.

On June 21st 1791, Louis XVI tried to escape France to his wife’s native country Austria. Marie Antoinette and their children were dressed as bakers in the streets. But it didn’t last long until they were found. They were captured in Varennes (near the German border). They were brought back Paris and forced to stay at the “Palais des Tuileries”.

French people wanted to abolish the Constitutional Monarchy and to give power to the Assembly.

On January 21st 1793, Louis XVI was beheaded on the guillotine in public. His wife Marie Antoinette was guillotined on 16 October, the same year.

La Marseillaise: French National hymn

Another important symbol that you can’t miss on the French National Day is the Marseillaise. It was composed on April 25th 1792 by Clause Joseph Rouget de Lisle, who was an officer in the French army. It was aimed at encouraging the French troops as France had just declared war to Austria.  This song became very popular and was sung by the "federes" (volunteers) from Marseilles during the storming of the Tuileries on August 10th, 1792. La Marseillaise was declared National Anthem of France on July 14th, 1795.
 
Note: The guillotine was used until 1977 in France and was definitely dismantled with the abolishment of the death penalty in 1981.
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