The French Big Weekend : Bastille Day / La Fête Nationale + Champions du Monde in the Football

Holidays, Life in France

Hello everyone. I do hope your summer / winter is progressing smoothly. I wanted to do a quick post on the huge weekend that France has just seen. It was truly memorable for the spirit and joie de vivre that illuminated the small town I live in that is Sainte Maxime and across the rest of France too from what I’ve seen on social media.

To kick things off on Saturday we had Bastille Day or La Fête Nationale.  The holiday pays tribute to the storming of the Bastille on the 14th of July 1789, and there has been  a parade in Paris each year since 1880 in celebration. In Sainte Maxime the occasion was marked with  some fantastic fireworks to round out the national day. The colours were trippingly fantastic, multi coloured and the sound was rather fierce – not only the gunfire sound of the fireworks but the booming tunes of Johnny Hallyday pumping out from the show. Admittedly the public holiday was on a Saturday but nonetheless it’s always a great celebration. Two years have passed since the attack in Nice and the day has more significance now and security is much tighter. To get to the main beach promenade you had to pass through bag checks which was rather strange yet sadly a familiar procedure.

The other big news of course was the football. France won the World Cup last night and  huge elebrations were seen all over France. Macron did the dab with some team members, hugged everyone and there was a spectacular gate crashing of the manager’s press session where champagne was sprayed and tables were danced on by the young players. Anyway I’m sure there are a few sore heads today but it’s heart warming to see something that has brought the country together after a few hard years and to see such exuberance.  Kylian Mbappé is the break out star and at only 19 years of age became the first teenager to score in a World Cup final since Pele in 1958. Croatia played brilliantly too and were fabulous to watch but on the day the young guns won out.

Unfortunately there was also some bad behaviour across the country and tear gas was used in Paris, but let’s not forget the joy and revelry that outshone those incidents. The atmosphere was superb, even in small Sainte Maxime. The klaxons were still going strong late at night and the village was the most festive I’ve ever seen it.


Notes : Cover Image : I found this beautiful photo on Twitter from Rhyjell Ellis and he’s from Trinidad and Tobago and I asked for his permission to use this capture here. His twitter handle is Kobe Bryant @jellzman.

All other images Megan In Sainte Maxime : Mbappé and manager Didier Deschamps taken from the TV screen.