July 14th in France is a day of celebration filled with fireworks, balloons, parades and lots of national pride. If you’re looking to extend the revelry to this side of the Atlantic here are five ways to get in on the fun:
1. Don’t Call it Bastille Day (to a French person)
While the storming of the Bastille did happen on this day in 1789, that’s not an occasion the French particularly care to commemorate. In fact, they selected the 14th of July because it commemorates an event which transpired one year later, the Fête de la Fédération, an ecstatic celebration in 1790 that honored the new French Republic. The holiday is about national pride: the tricolore and the national anthem, La Marseillaise, to highlight the French values of Liberté, Fraternité and Egalité — the three foremost rules of the country.
2. Make Crêpes
One particularly delicious way to celebrate French culture and national pride is to engage in some French cooking. Crêpes come in a number of styles (sweet, savory, breakfast, dinner, etc. etc.), so no matter your preference there’s a crêpe for you. Here are a few helpful links to get you started on your culinary adventure!
Since we’re in the celebrating mood, why not open up a nice bottle of wine to showcase one of France’s greatest sources of national pride? Whether you consider yourself a connoisseur or a novice this could be the year you bone up on your knowledge and finally pick up a few tidbits to show off at your next cocktail party. Not sure where to start? Here’s a great article from WineFolly.com to get you on your way.
4. Host a French Movie Marathon
French culture boasts a long storied tradition of world-class cinema with a style and panache all their own. Now that you’ve had a nice meal and are feeling wonderful after some chic French wine, what better way to cap off your celebration of French culture than with a great French film. You could go back in time and pick from one of the many classics, or you could choose from one of the 17 available on Netflix Buzzfeed has curated so conveniently.
5. Find a Local Celebration
Perhaps you’d prefer to be out and about celebrating with other Francophiles instead of planning your own celebration at home? Well if you live in or near pretty much any major American metropolitan area, you can probably find a group of French cultural enthusiasts throwing a party. Cities with the most well known festivities include New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Milwaukee, and St. Louis, but if you’re not close to any of those, don’t let that discourage you. If your city or town has a French restaurant you can bet they’ll be observing the holiday and will be more than happy to have you come join in the fun.