1 Le quatorze juillet
The French national holiday on 14 July commemorates the storming of the Bastille prison (la prise de la Bastille) in 1789. The rioters’ victory, at the end of a day-long siege, marked the beginning of the Revolution. The day is celebrated with a variety of events, large and small, across the country: défilés militaires (military parades), retraites aux flambeaux (torch-light processions), feux d’artifices (fireworks) and bals publics (free dances open to everybody). In this section a variety of people explain how they celebrate Bastille Day and what it means to them.