Why Do We Celebrate Bastille Day?

Happy Bastille Day, mes amis!

Annually, CarefulPeach hosts a large party to mark Bastille Day. Each year we look forward to hosting this enjoyable summer party and inviting our friends and neighbors around Oak Park. However, sadly, last year there was an attack in France on Bastille Day, and we reflected on the gravity of the day.  It got us thinking a lot about community, why we love France, and what is Bastille Day really all about?

In France, Bastille Day is most formally referred to as La Fête Nationale (The National Celebration) or Le quatorze juillet (literally translates to July 14). In fact, it is usually Americans (not the French) that refer to the holiday as Bastille Day (this blog calls for us to stop calling it Bastille Day all together!). However, around the world, the most recognized name for the holiday is Bastille Day, so as they say, C’Est la Vie.

History:3-The-French-Revolution

Similar to 4th of July, Bastille Day is really about independence.  It refers to the storming of Bastille during the French revolution. A quick history lesson for you: The French revolution was absolute terror. During the reign of King Louie XVI (aka husband of Marie Antoinette and resident of the Palace of Versailles), France was in a total economic crisis (Les Miserables, anyone?) and a very long and complicated story made short: the French people had enough of the monarchy. King Louie famously asked “Is it a revolt?” and the Duke of La Rochefoucauld (a famous member of the French nobility) replied: “No sire, it’s not a revolt; it’s a revolution.” Thus, the expression Vive la révolution. 

Modern Celebration in France:

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Today, France celebrates their independence with fireworks near the eiffel tower, parades, musical performances, and French flags adoring every street! While the French celebrate their independence day a little differently from Americans (with definitely less beer, and maybe a little less red, white & blue), people all around the world see Bastille Day as a day to celebrate their love of France and all that the French culture represents.

Celebrating Bastille Day in Chicago: 

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So what does CarefulPeach do to celebrate Le quatorze juillet?

Oh, with champagne of course (is there any other way?). Every year on the Saturday closest to July 14th we do a large party with a different French theme. In years past we’ve had Peachy in Provence,  French Country Estate Garden Party, and Hot Air Balloons in Paris. This year, we were inspired by the sea life in the south of France, and our theme is Sur La Mer.  Along with endless champagne, we will have two differnt swing bands, a rosé tasting, a crêpe maker, beignets maker, giveaways all day (including a French market basket loaded with our favorite goodies), and mini baguettes from the new French cafe, Lea! Oh, mon dieu!

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If you find your self in our lovely little corner of Oak Park, join on Saturday! We can’t wait to celebrate with you tomorrow. 🙂

 

 

 

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