Bastille Day falls on Thursday, July 14th this year, a day when everyone feels a little French. The day is not only celebrated in France but all over the world.
Bastille Day traditions
Similar to our Fourth of July, the French celebrate French National Day, also called Le Quatorze Juillet. This public holiday commemorates the date in 1789 when the common people of Paris stormed the Bastille, then a fortress prison. The citizen uprising triggered the French Revolution, leading to the end of the monarchy and creation of the French Republic.
Unless the holiday falls on a Sunday, it is always celebrated the Sunday before July 14 (this year on July 10). For the French, It’s a day of military parades; fireworks; arts festivals; popping bottles of champagne and uncorking wine; and festive displays of red, white and blue flags all over Paris (and other places with a tie to the country’s military history). Families gather to celebrate the holiday at home or at restaurants.
Bastille Day is celebrated in many U.S. cities, too, but some of the biggest celebrations take place in Manhattan and Brooklyn, New York. On 60th Street between Fifth and Lexington Avenues in Manhattan, revelers enjoy market stalls, live performances and authentic French cuisine.
So much of French culture has been incorporated into our own. But the French have had a particularly profound influence on our cuisine (which, in French literally means “kitchen.”)
French Restaurant Week in New York
Now in its seventh year, New Yorkers can take advantage of French Restaurant Week when more than 120 restaurants across the city (in collaboration with OpenTable.com) offer special prix-fixe menus for dinner (and, in some cases, lunch) at “revolutionary” prices of $17.89, $35.78 and $178.90. Some of the proceeds will be donated to the official Bastille Day Charity, Action Against Hunger International (ACF).
The good news: French Restaurant week runs from July 4 through July 17th so there is still time to join the festivities.
To inspire your own French culinary spirit, we present some of our favorite dishes.
Some of our French culinary favorites (in no particular order):
Do you have a favorite French dish?
Interesting reads elsewhere on the Web:
- How to Celebrate Bastille Day in New York
- Bastille Day on 60th Street
- NYC Restaurant Week on Open Table