Here in France, we love our bank holidays. The month of May is the best because on a good year, when the planets align, we may get four in just one month.
But now we are in July. The school children are on holiday, the weather is warmer and the atmosphere quite different. And of course the 14th July is Bastille Day with all that that involves.
Bastille Day is the bank holiday that has the most family feel to it. In small towns, there may be village parties, in others you’ll find the traditional Party at the Fire Brigade, yep!
But the biggest event on the Bastille Day calendar is the military parade down the Champs Elysees in the heart of Paris. A huge tricolor flag hung beneath the Arc de Triomphe, and two hours of fascinating military precision as the President reviews his troops.
Although I’m not from a military family, I do love this parade. I am mesmerised by the accuracy and precision of the planning which allows tanks, cavalry regiments, soldiers on foot or policemen on motorbikes to follow each other down the avenue to drive past the President and his guests. There is also a fly past of jets, carrier planes and helicopters and this year, in celebration of American troops supporting France in the first world war, there were American regiments and planes too.
I know this isn’t the sort of thing I normally talk about on the blog, but in these troubled times, when so many young men and women around the world sign up to the military to keep us all safe, I love that they are honored in this way. We should all remember to take a moment to thank them for their service.
Happy Bastille Day to you my friends, thank you for reading me.