Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Bastille Day

French firemen taking a hard-earned break from chatting up women.

I am sure most of you know that the 14th of July is Bastille day, the fête nationale celebrated by French people (and those of us residing in France). In Paris, there is a pretty standard military parade down Avenue des Champs-Élysées complete with military planes flying overhead. I've been to this parade a few times and while it is grand and on a lovely avenue, I just wasn't feeling it this year.

For the past 24 years there has also been a huge fireworks display around the Eiffel tower. This year marked the 25th anniversary. Johny Hallyday performed in front of a crowd of one million (according to papers) screaming fans and then there were a lot of fireworks. But again, I just wasn't feeling it this year. Will I regret not going in the years to come, maybe, but I doubt it. Really, how cool can fireworks be? And that crowd, not for all the tea in China and I really, really love tea.

What did I do, you might ask. A big bowl of nothing. Went to the park for some exercise, caught some sun, read and just enjoyed the one day when silence reined in my apartment.

However, the night before. Well that is another story. You see, the 14th juillet is proceeded by the Bal des Pompiers. Now that was something else. This year was the first year I attended the firemen's ball and I really hope I get to go to another. Theoretically, it is a neighborhood gathering at the local fire station with food, games and a band. Technically, I think it is just an excuse for the firemen to chat up pretty girls and vice versa. But whatever. It was great fun. I danced all night to mostly old American songs and just a little accordian music.


buffalodick said...

New things are good to try... I have started and stopped many hobbies and interests over the years!

starbender said...

...a fireman's ball, sounds like a great time. Why don't they do that in my neighborhood? Hmmmm, I wonder.

Zhu said...

Love the top picture!

I have never celebrated in Paris. Like most French, I was usually at the seaside in July.