The national day in France is on July 14th : Bastille Day. The celebration of Bastille day consists in having a Firework and the Firemen dance ball, and every town in the country would have its own. Some are nice, some are as kitsch as possible, but in the end, it is a nice opportunity to get outside and have fun.
As I grew up, I used to go the Bastille days’ celebration almost every year. Even though I enjoyed it, I never really paid extra attention to the event as it was kind of a tradition, almost a routine. As I started working 4 years ago, I did not have the opportunity to go to the celebration. The first 2 years without going were ok… I could live without it. The 2 other years were more painful, as I actually realized it was part of my “French DNA” to go and see the firework with my parents and enjoy that day in my country.
This year I was lucky enough to be free on July. I decided to book my ticket to attend the celebration in my hometown – and it was worth it as you’ll see later in the story. In June I called my parents over excited to let them know that this year we will celebrate together. In my hometown the celebration actually happen on the 13th at night, and consists in : a walk in the streets with , the parade of the firemen, the marching band of the village play on the main square of the village, and FINALLY the firework and the ball.
As the D day arrived, we got ready to attend the firework.
10:30 pm, the show started. It was a really nice firework: lovely colors, music perfectly in sync with the show. The explosions always make me shiver. I love fireworks.
11:00 pm, the ball started.
I arrived in my hometown12 years ago, and every year since then the same band called “Square root” plays and makes people dance until the end of night. To be fairly honest, the singer sometimes struggles with the tunes or with the lyrics when is come to English songs (but it is so brave of them, and I do admired them when they started singing “In the Navy”….The beginning is not the easiest one for a non-English speaker J ) . I love the ball because there you see people from 2 years old up to 80 + on the dancing. All with very different styles (some with better than others. Though everything goes smoother after several beers.
Midnight came through. Unlike Cinderella my car did not get transformed into a pumpkin…
Instead, a security guys started to be a bit sweaty as some people entered at the rear of the scene where the musician were, to “visit” the area and get closer to the handbags that were stored in the cloakroom.
00:05 am : A van with 5 people drove toward the city hall, and stopped. As nobody was allowed to drive in there, the guys started to wonder what would happen then. It was a “false alert”. A 40 + woman got outside of the van, to pick her daughters up. False alert.
00:15 am : A new guest joined the party, as a car of policemen arrived to drive around the city and ensure everything was alright.
Meanwhile, the musicians were on fire , playing “Satisfaction”, “Waterloo” and many other hits.That was quite rock ’n’ roll Bastille Day celebration.
After all that I thought it would be over for the day. I THOUGHT.
00:30 am, my parents and I took the car to head back home. A girl in front of us was not walking very still, but despite it, she got into her car. After driving over 200 meters, she ended up driving on the left side of the road (we drive on the right in France). At that point, we knew that she probably did not drink Coke all night long. This was confirmed when we saw the car leaving the main road to drive on the sand path through corn fields, probably to avoid being caught by the policemen. Bold initiative but not sure if this was be a successful one. We shall see.
What to say after such an animated night. The 2013 Bastille Day celebrations were extremely fun this year. As critical and tough I can be toward my country and the people, it felt good to be able to celebrate the national day in France. Special thanks to my parents for coming with me and making me have such a great time. Looking forward to the next one !
The picture come from the site: http://www.tourisme-en-sarthe.com
It is a picture of the “lights” we walk with in the streets during the celebration of Bastille Day.