Saturday, July 14, 2012

Happy Bastille Day!

Today is the French celebration of independence (much like July 4th for us) and as a complete francophile, it is a day I always celebrate. Bastille Day is seen as the start to the French Revolution in 1789 when the disenfranchised peasants of Paris were tired of being mistreated and very hungry from lack of food available.  So they decided to storm the Bastille, which is essentially a jail in the middle of the city.  The expectation was free a bunch of political prisoners, but the only prisoners in the Bastille were some petty thieves and such.  But things got a little rowdy and out of hand, so the peasants ended up beheading a few people (maybe the main jailer, I'm not too sure...) and parading heads around the city.  They felt very powerful and the act ultimately scared the royals and aristocracy who were outside the city hiding in Versailles.  So, while the actually storming of the Bastille may not have done anything radical (much like our Boston Tea Party) it did have an effect on the French people and give them the courage to stand up for their rights and from that act the French Revolution began.

So, Vive la France!  Celebrate today with some champagne and a French pastry.

(image via Bergdorf Princess)

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