Coming this Friday and Saturday, July 11-12 is the Le Festival de la Bastille at the Calumet Club in Augusta. Live music, fun and fireworks are on the agenda for the two days, but why do the French celebrate Bastille Day?

First, Bastille Day is a public holiday in France where many businesses, restaurants and tourist attractions are closed and parades are held, especially in Paris. There has been a military parade in Paris every year since 1880 except during WWll.

Here’s why the French Celebrate Bastille Day. It was a pivotal event at the beginning of the French Revolution. The Bastille was a fortress and prison under the harsh rule of the Bourbon monarchy and on July 14th, 1789 troops stormed the Bastille. It was the beginning of a constitutional monarch in France.

Because of the storming of the castle on July 14th a politician named Benjamin Raspail proposed that date should be a holiday in France and it was passed into law and Bastille Day became a public holiday on July 14th, 1880.