Bastille Day

July 14, a national holiday of the French republic, commemorating the fall of the Bastille in 1789.

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▪ French holiday
  in France and its overseas départements and territories, holiday marking the anniversary of the fall on July 14, 1789, of the Bastille in Paris. Originally built as a medieval fortress, the Bastille eventually came to be used as a state prison. Political prisoners were often held there, as were citizens detained by the authorities for trial. Some prisoners were held on the direct order of the king, from which there was no appeal. Although by the late 18th century it was little used and was scheduled to be demolished, the Bastille had come to be associated in the minds of the people with the harsh rule of the Bourbon monarchy. During the unrest of 1789, on July 14 a mob approached the Bastille to demand the arms and ammunition stored there, and, when the force guarding the structure resisted, the attackers captured the prison, releasing the seven prisoners held there. The taking of the Bastille signaled the beginning of the French Revolution, and it thus became a symbol of the end of the ancien régime.

      July 14, often called la fête nationale in France, became an official holiday in 1880. From the beginning, speeches, parades, and fireworks, along with public revelry, were part of the celebration. The slogan “Vive le 14 juillet!” (“Long live the 14th of July!”) has continued to be associated with the day. The holiday came to be celebrated in the former French colonies and is observed in those places maintaining links to France. French Polynesia especially came to be known for its adaptation of the holiday to its own culture. In addition, Francophiles worldwide have taken up the observance of Bastille Day, celebrating with dinners of French cuisine, for example, or with concerts of French music.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bastille Day — is the French national holiday, celebrated on 14 July each year . In France, it is called Fête Nationale ( National Celebration ) in official parlance, or more commonly quatorze juillet ( 14 July ). It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération …   Wikipedia

  • Bastille Day — Bastille′ Day n. why July 14, a French national holiday commemorating the fall of the Bastille in 1789 …   From formal English to slang

  • Bastille Day — /bæsˈtil deɪ/ (say bas teel day) noun 14 July, a national holiday of the French republic commemorating the fall of the Bastille …   Australian English dictionary

  • Bastille Day — noun Date: 1900 July 14 observed in France as a national holiday in commemoration of the fall of the Bastille in 1789 …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Bastille Day — noun The French national holiday celebrated on 14 July each year. It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789; the Fête de la Fédération was seen as a symbol of the …   Wiktionary

  • Bastille Day — national French holiday commemorating the fall of the Bastille in 1789 (during the French Revolution) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Bastille Day — noun a legal holiday in France celebrating the storming of the Paris bastille in 1789 • Syn: ↑14 July • Hypernyms: ↑legal holiday, ↑national holiday, ↑public holiday • Part Holonyms: ↑July …   Useful english dictionary

  • Bastille Day —  July 14 (1789) …   Bryson’s dictionary for writers and editors

  • Bastille Day Military Parade — Mounted Republican Guards escort the command vehicle of the President. The Bastille Day Military Parade (or 14 July Military Parade, translation of the French name of Défilé militaire du 14 Juillet) is a French military parade that has been held… …   Wikipedia

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