Bastille Day, the French National Day, is celebrated on the 14 of July, usually with fireworks. It is not a huge display of patriotism like Canada Day—I can’t remember spotting any French flags in the crowd!—but a chance to party, drink and enjoy whatever festivities is organized locally.
One of my most memorable Bastille Day celebrations was the one I spent in Beijing, China, in 1999. There were still few foreigners and even fewer French in China back then, and we had been invited at the reception at the French Embassy. They had the nicest and largest French food buffet I had ever seen with all-you-can-drink champagne, imported cheese, bread, etc.—basically everything a French in China may crave.
Most summers, I spent Bastille Day by the seaside, at the family house. The National Day isn’t a big deal there, we just had fireworks by the beach.
This was my first Bastille Day in Nantes, and Mark’s first time seeing fireworks. It was pretty cool although securing a good spot was tougher than I had thought. I tend to stay away from the crowd in France because unlike Canadians, French can be pretty pushy, drunk and fights do happen.