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  • Today is France's biggest day of celebration, referred to as La Fete Nationale or simply le quatorze juillet, the 14th of July. The day marks the success of the storming of the notorious Bastille prison by the people of Paris in 1789, an event that led to the birth of the modern republic.

    Celebrations take place all over France, with the biggest military parade providing a great spectacle in the Champs Elysees. This evening the sky at dusk will be alive with the blaze of fireworks as the French people reaffirm their constitutional commitment to freedom, equality and brotherhood.

    We wish a wonderful day to the French people and anyone lucky enough to be visiting France and allowing themselves to be swept up in the festivities.

  • Bon 14 Juillet! Today, 14th July, is Bastille Day, France’s biggest national public holiday and major celebration of the start of the French Revolution in 1789.

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    Bonne quatorze juillet! Today is France’s biggest national public holiday and major celebration of the storming of the Bastille and start of the French Revolution in 1789.

    The Bastille was a notorious Paris prison that epitomised the arbitrary power of the French monarchy. Its storming in 1789 eventually led to the establishment of the Republic, with its principles of liberty, brotherhood and freedom.

    Public and private celebrations are taking place all over France today. There’s a military parade in the Champs Elysees, Paris, along with some spectacular balls, dances and firework displays. You’ll also find concerts and other musical performances and see extended families coming together to enjoy good food and wine.

    Banks, post offices, many shops and some restaurants are closed, but travel should not be much affected, although roads may be busy. Many will be cheering on French cyclists in the Tour de France, as they ride some hard hills.

    In the UK, you’ll find celebrations mainly centred around French food cafes and restaurants, so it’s a great day to indulge in steak frites with vin rouge or a delicate patisserie with thé citron.

    Want some reading to get you in the mood? Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Pierre Choderlos de Laclos sets the scene of privilege, A Place of Greater Safety by Hilary Mantel highlights the main characters and Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities brings the drama of the revolution, of course featuring the dreaded Madame la Guillotine.

    Inspired to visit France? We make it easy with our fabulous range of accommodation at B&Bs and holiday rentals, along with travel advice and booking.

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    Our deepest sympathy and condolences are with those affected by last night’s shocking events in Nice, when a day of celebration became so tragic. Along with all who love France, we feel for her people.

    Manuel Valls, the French prime minister, has announced that France will observe three days of mourning, commencing on Saturday 16th July.

    His comments (BBC translation) were:

    “Times have changed and we should learn to live with terrorism. We have to show solidarity and collective calm. France has been hit in its soul on 14 July, our national day. They wanted to attack the unity of the French nation. The only dignified response is that France will remain loyal to the spirit of 14 July and its values.” These values are, of course, liberté, égalité, fraternité.

    Notre sympathie est avec le peuple de France

    Notre plus profonde sympathie et toutes nos condoléances sont avec les personnes touchées par les événements choquants de la nuit dernière à Nice, quand un jour de fête tourne en tragédie . Nous sommes de tout coeur avec vous et tout ceux qui aiment la France.

    Manuel Valls , le premier ministre français, a annoncé que la France va observer trois jours de deuil , à compter de samedi 16 Juillet.

    Ses commentaires (traduction de la BBC) étaient les suivants:

    " Les temps ont changé et nous devons apprendre à vivre avec le terrorisme . Nous devons faire preuve de solidarité et de calme collectif. La France a été touchée dans son âme le 14 Juillet, notre journée nationale. Ils voulaient attaquer l'unité de la nation française. La seule réponse digne est que la France reste fidèle à l'esprit du 14 Juillet et ses valeurs. "Ces valeurs sont, bien sûr, liberté, égalité , fraternité.

  • It is almost time for the summer school holidays here in the UK and many of you will be preparing to go away on your summer vacations. If you haven't yet booked anywhere take a look at what there is to offer here on www.frenchconnections.co.uk as there is plenty going on in France at this time of year and you are sure to find something to suit you.

    Of course in France it will be the start of their school holidays too, or the L'ete holidays as they are known. This is the two month long summer vacation, like our own, when all schools are closed from the beginning of July to the beginning of September.