Crash course: France's Bastille Day
Raise the Tricolore for France's most important public holiday - 'La Fête Nationale' - when all things Gallic are celebrated with a day off work. Quel dommage that it falls on a Sunday...
Saturday 13 July 2013
14 JULY 1789
A crowd storms the Bastille fortress, freeing political captives. The end of feudalism is not far behind
FÊTE DE LA FÉDERATION
14 JULY 1790
A four-day feast in Paris celebrates the end of the absolute monarchy: partygoers even run naked in the streets
14 JULY 1802
Napoleon Bonaparte decides that the date should also be marked by an amnesty, and releases prisoners
Benjamin Raspail, a politician of the Third Republic, proposes that the nation should take the day off work. Of course!
14 JULY 1918
While the Great War rages on, military parades take to the Champs-Élysées for the first time, starting a tradition that endures
With the Nazis in control of Paris, the French national day is quietly forgotten for four years
UNLEASH THE LASERS
14 JULY 1979
In the modern era, electro-pioneer Jean Michel Jarre plays to 1 million on the Place de la Concorde
ON TOP OF THE WORLD
14 JULY 1998
Two days after its football team triumphs in the World Cup, France has a double celebration
ADDRESS THE NATION
14 JULY 2012
François Hollande reinstates the Bastille Day presidential interview - previously scrapped by Sarkozy
Profile: The arch Francophile
By Anne Penketh
When poet Michael Edwards defeated five learned French rivals to become the first Englishman to join the prestigious Académie Française in February it was his last chance to become one of the "immortals" who are elected for life.
The Academy's 40 seats are reserved for those under 75, and Prof. Edwards was 74 when he inherited seat number 31. Now, he shares responsibility for the Academy's rulings on the French language which cause ripples across the land.
The Academy was founded in 1635, tasked with defending the purity of French and compiling the dictionary. It has just announced its annual literary prizes. But its main reputation derives from its linguistic diktats erecting a bulwark against the encroachment of English.
Is it fighting a losing battle? The Academy certainly hasn't thrown in the "serviette" when confronting the invasion of neologisms and anglicisms. Among its latest admonitions to practitioners of the French language: please don't say "l'easy listening", and don't say "le sport business".
How to: Make crêpes Suzette
By Sam Muston
Celebrate le quatorze Juillet with Brunot Loubet's recipe for crêpes Suzette with orange and cardamom. Abridged from Mange Tout, (Random House, £25)
First, make a simple crêpe batter. Then, in a small pan, melt the butter over medium heat until it turns a nutty brown ('beurre noisette'), remove from the heat and pour into the crêpe mixture. Whisk well. Leave to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes
Spread a thin layer of vegetable oil over the base of a large frying pan, then place it over a medium heat until hot. Pour a large spoonful of batter into the pan, swirling to spread the mixture evenly. Cook briefly and remove – repeat for as many crêpes as are required
Heat sugar in the same pan to make a caramel; add lemon, crushed cardamom and orange zest. Boil, add butter and Grand Marnier. Flambé the alcohol. Add four crêpes to the pan, coating them in the mixture. Spoon on the remaining sauce, add orange segments. Et voilà
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