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How to Celebrate Bastille Day

Bastille Day -- celebrated on July 14, is to the French what July 4 is to citizens of the U.S. Plan to celebrate with a Gallic party.


  • Step 1: Serve champagne to your guests. Then invite them to join you in a toast to the principles of Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite.
  • Step 2: Watch a fireworks display, called feu d'artifice in French, or set off a few of your own. Vive la France!
  • FACT: The Bastille -- a French prison that held political prisoners and was therefore a symbol of royal tyranny, was stormed by an angry French mob on July 14, 1789. This marked the beginning of the French Revolution.
  • Step 3: Serve cake, recalling Marie Antoinette's reported comment when she learned the starving masses of her country had no bread, "Let them eat cake."
  • TIP: Have plenty of berets on hand for those who show up without costumes.
  • Step 4: Decorate the room in the French national colors -- blue, white, and red. Or better yet, put up some French flags.
  • Step 5: Invite guests to come in costume. They can dress up as Marie Antoinette, Napoleon -- any well-known person as long as they are or were French.
  • Step 6: Enjoy some French music. And be sure to engage everyone in a rousing rendition of the national anthem of France -- La Marseillaise.

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