Bastille Day, more formally known as French National Day, is celebrated by France, French Polynesia, and other French overseas departments and territories on 14 July each year.
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The holiday is more or less equivalent to Independence Day in other countries. It commemorates the storming of the Bastille, a fortress-turned-prison built in medieval times, by people rising up against oppression and against the French monarchy. This led to the overthrow of the “Old Regime” and, eventually, to the establishment of a republic.
In 1880, 14 July became an official public holiday in France and its territories. People celebrate with colourful parades, elaborate fireworks shows, and by shouting out “Vive the fourteenth of July!” In French Polynesia, certain adaptations have been made to Bastille Day. These include Polynesian song and dance competitions and performances. These kinds of musical ways to celebrate go on throughout the entire month of July in French Polynesia.
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