On July 14 France celebrates the French National Day which commemorates the beginning of the French Revolution with the storming of the Bastille fortress.
The official program of the celebration involves a series of balls Firefighters Ball, Grand Ball which takes place on July 13 in the Tuileries Gardens. Bastille Day is marked with military parade on the Champs Elysees. It starts at 10 a.m. on the Place de l'Etoile and moves toward the Louvre; French President takes the parade. At the Place de la Concorde in front of the Arc de Triomphe special seats for spectators are erected. The finale of the holiday is the big fireworks near the Eiffel Tower at the Champ de Mars. Pyrotechnic hype usually starts at 10 p.m.
Recent years military representatives from allied countries has joined the parade in order to emphasize the key role of France in the European Union. Among them there are British forces and the famous Red Arrows - aerobatic team of the Royal Air Force.
Sense of the greatest French holiday is expressed by one short exclamation: Vive la France!
On July 14, 1789 Bastille prison was captured. After several days of street riots embittered crowd of thousands started to storm the fortress-prison. The small guard was neutralized by individual shots. The attackers seized weapons and ammunition, let go seven prisoners and carried through the streets of Paris heads of commandant and his subordinates on pikes. Immediately the crowd began destroying terrible and hated building. Bastille was completely destroyed by the end of the year. Since then July 14 is considered to be the beginning of the French Revolution.
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