Every year on 14th July, Bastille Day is celebrated in France in a grand manner with fireworks and parades. This day marks the storming of the Bastille prison by a mob of Parisians in 1789. The military fortress and political prison represented the oppression of the Bourbon dynasty. Thus, its collapse was seen as the end of absolutism and is commemorated as the birth of the French Revolution.
Last year, the parade was cancelled for the first time since the Second World War due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and was instead celebrated on a much more minimal scale with a small ceremony to pay tribute to all healthcare and frontline workers. This year, the festivities included 4,300 marching soldiers, 71 planes, 25 helicopters, 221 land vehicles and 200 horses of the Republican Guard. President Emmanuel Macron was present for the parade. The number of people attending the parade were limited and they were asked to comply with safety measures. All those attending had to provide a special pass proving that they had been fully vaccinated, a recent negative test, or proof that they had recovered from COVID. Spectators were also asked to wear masks. These restrictions also applied to those who were watching the fireworks show at the Eiffel Tower. However, in several towns such as Lille, there were no fireworks because of fears over the transmission of the delta variant of COVID.
CD4Peace welcomes the safety precautions adopted by the French authorities to celebrate this historical event that is seen as a symbol of unity among the French people.