Monday, July 14, 2014

Bastille Day Means… Party at the Firehouse!


This post is part of the Paris in July blogging event. I’m delighted to be co-hosting this year! Please check out the blogs of Karen at “A Wondering Life” and Tamara at “Thyme for Tea,” creators of the event, for links to all participating posts.

So how do Parisians spend Bastille Day? Festivities begin with BBQs and the annual “Firefighters’ Ball” on July 13 and celebrations culminate with the Paris fireworks display over the Eiffel Tower on the night of the 14th.

“What’s this about the firefighters hosting a party?” you might ask.

Well, it dates back to July 14, 1937. A group of firefighters in Montmartre were marching back to the station after Bastille Day celebrations and a few area residents followed. It was then that Sergent Cournet decided it would be a good opportunity to open the firehouse up to the locals and give them a glimpse into the world of the Parisian firefighter. Add music, drinks and a tradition was born!

With the exceptions of 1939-1945 (wartime), the balls at various firehouses have been an integral part of Bastille Day tradition.

For me, Bastille Day reminds me of July 4th back in the U.S. and my celebrations usually have been similar: BBQs, fireworks, walks through parks and gardens.



Of my favorite Bastille Days, are the ones perched on a terrace of our friends’ apartment with a view of fireworks displays surrounding the city. Colors popping to life, illuminating the sky… and the Eiffel Tower reigning as a small jewel amidst it all.




Another View:



Fellow Paris-based author Vicki Lesage is teaming up with me on a few “Paris in July” posts. We each will be writing our own take on a particular Paris-related theme. Vicki’s thoughts on Bastille Day:

Allons enfants de la patrie! It's the 14th of July, also known as Bastille Day, the day France celebrates the revolution and becoming a republic. Citizens celebrate across the nation, in a rare moment of flag-waving national pride. Click here to read more...







16 comments:

  1. Um, can I invite myself over to your friend's house? What a view! Happy Bastille Day!

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    1. Ha, ha! Yes, it is so beautiful... and not having to fight the crowds is another plus!

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  2. I was wondering why all those firemen were out in their best uniforms. Thanks.

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  3. I spent Bastille Day in Paris last year- and went to the Bal as well. Both were amazing experiences! I'm reminiscing on my blog today. The view from your friends apartment is incredible- it must be amazing to watch the fireworks there.

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    1. It's wonderful that you celebrated Bastille Day in a traditional way while you were here... What great memories!

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  4. Which is more impressive, the firemen or the fireworks? Thanks for the history on the night-before party. Hope you have a terrific fete celebration. Thanks for playing along with Dreaming of France too. Here’s my Dreaming of France meme

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    1. Ha, ha! Good question! Hope you had a great Bastille Day too...

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  5. Looks like a fun day! I love the idea of a party at the firehouse.

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    1. Yes, and learning the story behind it was interesting! Thanks for stopping by...

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  6. Magnificent fireworks! Thanks for the photos and sharing with us Bastille Day right from Paris.

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    1. Thank you and thanks for visiting! I love fireworks so I was glad to post some colorful photos!

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  7. Beautiful! We had a lovely firework display here as well, at the Chateau de Voltaire - the fireworks were in time to music which was a reconstruction of one of Voltaire's and Rameu's operas, and which they are going to perform (in its entirety) at Versailles in October. If you get a chance to and see it, you should. Quite spectacular!

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    1. That sounds fabulous... lucky you! I'm going to look into that show at Versailles. Thanks for the information and for stopping by!

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  8. Bastille Day in Paris sounds as good as it gets! What wonderful energy! Thanks for sharing such lovely photos! (And thanks, also, for your visits to The Marmelade Gypsy -- I'm getting caught up!)

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