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Date(s) - 13/07/2015
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm



Bastille Day, the name given in English-speaking countries to the French National Day (La Fête nationale), celebrated on 14 July every year, will be fêted at the Alliance française du Bengale for its members, teachers and students on Monday, 13th of July.  DON’T miss it !

🙂 Some historical elements with Wikipedia 🙂

The French National Day commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the Storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, as well as the Fête de la Fédération which celebrated the unity of the French people on 14 July 1790. 

Claude MonetRue Montorgueil, Paris, Festival of 30 June 1878.

Storming of the Bastille

On 19 May 1789, Louis XVI convened the Estates-General to hear  grievances. The deputies of the Third Estate, representing the common people (the two others were the Catholic Church and nobility), decided to break away and form a National Assembly. On 20 June the deputies of the Third Estate took the Tennis Court Oath, swearing not to separate until a constitution had been established. They were gradually joined by delegates of the other estates; Louis XVI started to recognize their validity on 27 June. The assembly renamed itself the National Constituent Assembly on 9 July, and began to function as a legislature and to draft a constitution.[citation needed]

In the wake of the 11 July dismissal of Jacques Necker (the finance minister, who was sympathetic to the Third Estate), the people of Paris, fearful that they and their representatives would be attacked by the royal army, and seeking to gain ammunition and gunpowder for the general populace, stormed the Bastille, a fortress-prison in Paris which had often held people jailed on the basis of lettres de cachet, arbitrary royal indictments that could not be appealed. Besides holding a large cache of ammunition and gunpowder, the Bastille had been known for holding political prisoners whose writings had displeased the royal government, and was thus a symbol of the absolutism of the monarchy. As it happened, at the time of the attack in July 1789 there were only seven inmates, none of great political significance.

When the crowd—eventually reinforced by mutinous gardes françaises—proved a fair match for the fort’s defenders, Governor de Launay, the commander of the Bastille, capitulated and opened the gates to avoid a mutual massacre. However, possibly because of a misunderstanding, fighting resumed. Nine
ty-eight attackers and just one defender died in the actual fighting, but in the aftermath, de Launay and seven other defenders were killed, as was the ‘prévôt des marchands’ (roughly, mayor) Jacques de Flesselles.

Shortly after the storming of the Bastille, on 4 August, feudalism was abolished. On 26 August, the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen was proclaimed.

Fête de la Fédération

The Fête de la Fédération on the 14 July 1790 was a celebration the unity of the French Nation during the French Revolution.The aim of this Celebration was to symbolize Peace one year after the Storming of the Bastille. The event took place on the Champ de Mars, which was at the time far outside Paris. The place had been transformed on a voluntary basis by the population of Paris itself, in what was recalled as the Journée des brouettes (“Wheelbarrow Day”).

A mass was celebrated by Talleyrandbishop of Autun. The popular General Lafayette, as captain of the National Guard of Paris and confidant of the king, took his oath to the constitution, followed by King Louis XVI. 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 naked through the streets in order to display their great freedom.