Celebrate [good times, c'mon]
By simonri on Jul 14, 2008
Today is the 14th of July, and here in France it's a day of national celebration (hence the title of this post). A celebration of the storming of the Bastille and the birth of the French nation as we know it today. The strange thing about this celebration is that when the Bastille was stormed to liberate all the prisoners held there the revolutionaries freed a grand total of four people. How typically French, especially when you find out they were all recaptured by the authorities later in the day. The real reason for storming the Bastille was to find ammunition for the weapons that had been obtained from the Hotels des Invalides (not really a hotel at all) the previous day. Sadly, no ammunition was found. [Note: all these historical facts were related to me by my partner, Elaine, so refer inaccuracies to her].
Since this celebration involves parades and large amounts of fireworks it got me thinking about major celebrations in other countries I've been to. Here are three I came up with.
- Independence Day in the U.S.; It always amuses me when an American asks me if we celebrate this in the UK.
- Diwalhi in India and Nepal. A religious festival rather than one of independence. This one is great fun, although the approach to the firework safety code is most definitely typically Indian (I remember seeing a chap looking for a particular firework in a bag filled with all sorts of pyrotechnics; since it was dark the obvious choice of light source was a cigarette lighter!)
- Guy Fawkes Day in the UK: Since we can't really celebrate independence we needed to come up with something else as an excuse for lots of fireworks. Easy, let's celebrate burning someone at the stake for trying to blow up the houses of Parliament. Trust the Brits to be rather more eccentric