One that has been reported as “the oldest and largest military parade in Europe” is held on 14 July on the Champs-Élysées in Paris in front of the President of the Republic, along with other French officials and foreign guests.
If you are lucky enough to spend Bastille Day – known in France as La Fête Nationale (French National Day) or Le Quatorze Juillet (July 14th) – in Paris, you’ll get to experience the biggest summer celebration in the city.
Champ de Mars is also the site of free open air concerts through the early evening hours. At 9:10pm, a special concert of classical music and opera featuring internationally acclaimed artists begins with musicians performing from the base of the Eiffel Tower and special lighting effects, and will also be aired live on France Inter and France 2 TV.
Fireworks start at 11pm, once the sky is finally almost dark, and the show lasts about 35 minutes.
The Fête de la Fédération on 14 July 1790 was a celebration of the unity of the French nation during the French Revolution. The aim of this celebration, one year after the Storming of the Bastille, was to symbolize peace. The event took place on the Champ de Mars, which was located far outside of Paris at the time.
After the end of the official celebration, the day ended in a huge four-day popular feast, and people celebrated with fireworks, as well as fine wine and running nude through the streets in order to display their great freedom.