Friday en Français : Bonne Fête La France!

Hier le 14 juillet, la France a fêté son indépendance de l’ancien régime. Mais certains ne savent pas si c’est pour fêter la prise de la Bastille, prison d’État horrible,  le 14 juillet 1789, OU la fête de la Fédération, qui a eu lieu le 14 juillet 1790.

La fête de la Fédération célébrait l’union entre la monarchie soumise au parlement et le peuple. Il faut dire que cette fédération n’a été que de courte durée, car l’Histoire (et le roi) en décidèrent autrement. Le roi et la reine ont même prête serment de fidélité à la Constitution et à la Nation ce jour-là. Mais, cela n’a pas pu durer.

En tous cas, quoi que vous fêtiez, que ce soit l’ouverture et la libération des prisonniers politiques ou pour un accord entre le parlement et le royauté…j’espère que vous avez passé une bonne fête du 14 juillet!

La fête Nationale – Bastille Day

This is how Parisians celebrate what Americans call Bastille day…
Parade in the morning, most people watch it on tv, only the vigorous tourists go out to the Champs Elysées; and then others just soak in the morning sun (uuuh, rain) at a café, full of…you guessed it : tourists. Then we all go in search of lunch in tourist filled restaurants. The lucky ones go to their families house for lunch!
Then it’s the timing guessing game, on how early one must get to the chosen spot for viewing of the fireworks display… One hour in advance? Two? Three!?! Ok let’s make it a picnic so we don’t twiddle our thumbs and have sore bums by the time the show starts.
So, feeling quite smart, we arrive at the Champs de Mars (the green below the Eiffel tower) threeee hours in advance, picnic basket and all. Well we aren’t the only ones to have that SMART idea. In fact all of Paris and it’s tourists were there already; it was not easy to find a (dry) spot to plunk down on.

The wait is reduced by the activity of people watching, the French national sport, along with café sitting, and dog walking. And then one half hour before the show the late-comers arrive hoping to grab a corner of your carefully laid out picnic blanket. And by then you are so exasperated you start reminding yourself that you will not do this again next year.

But then when the sparks start flying, you forget all about the frustration and are completely captivated for a half hour by those bright shiny sparkly things called fireworks.

Ah! The human being is so easily entertained!
Vive la France!

Jet Set !

People get ready!

Out of the blue sky, the jet engines came roaring by, on the 6th of July.

I jumped up, stuck my head out the window at the office and started shooting (my camera), in an attempt to capture the fabulous adrenaline that comes from watching these incredible metal birds flying over Paris.
I only had one worried student call me, asking if there was something to worry about. But If I had been a random war vet tourist, not knowing what was happening, I may have been slightly worried too. For about 20 minutes, aircraft of all kinds were flying low over the city.

The military style parade takes place on the Champs Elysées July 14th, in the morning. It’ll be crowded so get there early if you want to see. It is also aired live on television.

Just a little jet practice for the 14th of July!

Allons enfants de la patrie, le jour de gloire est [presque] arrivé!!!