Bastille Day and Baguette Races
“Allons enfants de la patrie, Le jour de gloire est arrivé!” (Excerpt of La Marseillaise, the National Anthem of France.) We wandered to Washington, D.C. on July 14 for a truly unique experience. The French Independence Day is Bastille Day which is celebrated on July 14. History refresher: The Bastille was a prison and a symbol of the absolute and arbitrary power of Louis the 16th's Ancient Regime. By storming the prison in 1789 and capturing this symbol, the people signaled that the king's power was no longer absolute: power should be based on the Nation and be limited by a separation of powers. And thus, the movement to replace a two-person government with a representative government began. Bastille Day in France is a national holiday and day of celebrations of French culture. Many large-scale public events are held, including a military parade in Paris, as well as communal meals, dances, parties and fireworks. To commemorate France’s national holiday, PAUL Bakery in D.C. invited the public to come have some fun and participate in their 5th Annual “Baguette Relay Race” which took place in front of PAUL Bakery at the U.S. Navy Memorial. Racing with bread sounded like a perfect ‘Wandering” adventure to us! There were two races of the day: a kids race and an adult race. Racers were divided into four teams of five people, with each team will be led by a PAUL Bakery employee. Each racer was instructed to do a “quick-walk” of one lap around the circle of the US Navy Memorial, and then hand off his/her baguette (baton) to the next teammate. Alex and Caden eagerly joined a team and the kids' race began! It was quite a humorous sight to see folks racing with baguettes! My kids were beyond excited that their team won (and that they were featured in a local D.C. business publication, BisNow, the next day! (See article below).
Ce une journée de plaisir! Bonne fête de la Bastille!