Discover the Magic of July 14th in Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Published the 07/01/2024 in Useful Information

History of July 14th:
What Do We Celebrate and Why?

July 14th, French National Day, is the perfect opportunity to delve into France's fascinating history and discover the festivities that illuminate the entire country.

The Origins of July 14th

la prise de la bastille

The National Day of July 14th refers to July 14, 1789, a significant date in French history synonymous with the Storming of the Bastille. This Parisian fortress, used as a state prison, symbolized the tyrannical power of King Louis XVI. The people of Paris, frustrated by misery and injustice, stood up to demolish this symbol of absolutism. This event marked the beginning of the French Revolution and the rejection of monarchical oppression.

One year later, on July 14, 1790, the Fête de la Fédération was celebrated, commemorating national unity. This event aimed to consolidate the Revolution and celebrate the fraternity regained among the French. It was a day of festivities that symbolized the aspiration for a free and united nation.

It was until 1880 that July 14th was officially designated as National Day, in homage to both the Storming of the Bastille and the Fête de la Fédération. This date embodies the republican values of liberty, equality, and fraternity. Today, July 14th is a public holiday in France, celebrated with military parades, fireworks, popular dances, and various festive events.

How is July 14th Celebrated Today?

The 2024 Military Parade

Défilé militaire durant le 14 juillet


For the 2024 edition, the traditional July 14th military parade, usually held on the Champs-Élysées, will exceptionally take place on Avenue Foch in Paris. This change of location is due to the preparations for the 2024 Olympic Games, which will take place a few days later in the French capital.

This special edition will highlight the links between the French armed forces and the values of Olympism. The parade aims to emphasize the spirit of camaraderie, discipline, and perseverance shared by both soldiers and athletes. The highlight of the parade will be a spectacular final tableau featuring a horseback relay carrying the Olympic flame, symbolizing unity and peace.

Festivities in Nouvelle-Aquitaine

Un feu d'artifice du 14 juillet à Bordeaux

@Nicolas Pastor

In Nouvelle-Aquitaine, the July 14th celebrations are just as spectacular. In Gironde, Arcachon, Bordeaux, and other cities in the Bordeaux Metropolis such as Saint-Médard-en-Jalles, Mérignac, festive events are organized to mark this national day.

In Bordeaux, the July 14th festivities are crowned by a magnificent fireworks display over the Garonne River. The city's quays transform into a festive gathering place where locals and visitors can enjoy open-air concerts, night markets, and various shows. The fireworks, with their bursts of colors and pyrotechnic figures, illuminate the Bordeaux sky, creating a magical atmosphere.

In Saint-Médard-en-Jalles, the celebrations include the famous Firefighters' Ball, a popular tradition that attracts many residents and visitors. Additionally, a White Night is organized, where participants are invited to dress in white for a night of dancing and festivities under the stars. The evening is crowned by a grand fireworks display from the Parc de l'Ingénieur.

Mérignac, a commune in the Bordeaux metropolis, celebrates July 14th with a rich program of activities. The Bourran Park hosts a large popular dance where everyone can dance to the music. The evening concludes with a spectacular fireworks display that attracts a large crowd every year, captivated by the pyrotechnic show.

Arcachon, renowned for its basin and beaches, offers a unique celebration for July 14th. The festivities include a nautical parade with decorated and illuminated boats, followed by a fireworks display from the beach. Visitors can admire this exceptional view while strolling along the seafront. Various concerts and animations complete this festive evening.

Want to discover Bordeaux and its region?

Contact us

At MP French Travel, we are here to help you organize an unforgettable stay around July 14th. Whether you want to explore the festivities in Bordeaux or enjoy the beaches of Arcachon, we have the perfect offers for you. Contact us now to plan your trip and experience a unique French National Day.