Category: French Culture

A poem for the 14th July (from French original)

A poem for the 14th July (from French original)

A poem for the 14th July (from French original)How sweet it seems, my beautiful Republic
Where many winds died down a long time ago,
When from our harsh suns to a hundred northern plains
Robespierre and Danton once enemies became friends.
How beautiful it seems, my France of folk tunes,
Which can dance to a thousand accordions,
While from our villages to the borders of Paris
A single people celebrates in good heart and with a single soul.
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14th July, national celebration in France, what is really being celebrated?

14th July, national celebration in France, what is really being celebrated?

The 14th July is very often associated with the storming of the Bastille in 1789. It was indeed in the morning of that day that an angry crowd seized this prison-fortress and brought its destruction. However, it was a year later on 14th July 1790 that another event took place, the Festival of Federation. Besides being the first anniversary of the fall of the royal prerogative, this marked the national merging of the regional units of national guards, formed in each of the French provinces.

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France’s Music Festival

France’s Music Festival

The 21st June, day of the summer solstice (the longest day of the year), is the day of the festival of music. The festival exists all over the world but did you know that its origin is French?! … And a bit American! In 1976, the American musician Joel Cohen, who was working at Radio France, put forward a special programme of music for the 21st June and the 21st December (for the two solstices). In 1981, Jack Lang, the Minister for Culture, made it an official holiday in France. Continue reading

May – Aix-en-Provence – an ancestral tradition: the Festival of the tabor

May – Aix-en-Provence – an ancestral tradition: the Festival of the tabor

From 20th to 28th May, Aix-en-Provence continues an ancestral tradition with the Festival of the tabor, a musical instrument which is emblematic of Provence. From throughout Provence, and also from the Drôme, Gard and Hérault departments, some 200 tabor players gather on Cours Mirabeau simply for the pleasure of playing together, virtuoso players and beginners alike.

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