How to Celebrate Bastille Day Like a True American

Nicole Fabian-Weber

mimesAre you sad that the Fourth of July is over? Itching for another reason to have a summer bash? Well look no further, mes amies, July 14 is Bastille Day. Ooh, la, la. Tre bien. Okay, I'm all tapped out on French.

What is Bastille Day, or as the French formally refer to it, La Fête Nationale, you ask? Well, the long of it is it's the day that commemorates the storming of the Bastille on July 14, 1789, blah, blah, blah. The short of it is it's an excuse for us Americans to drink ourselves silly and gorge on jam-filled crepes like only we can do. Magnifique. Guess I still had one in the chamber.

Or, we can try, for one stinkin' Fronch day, to be fancy and couth and cultured. I say oui oui.

Apparently, I'm fluent.

If you want to essentially treat Thursday like Fourth of July II, by all means, have at it. I won't judge. A lot. But for the rest of us aristocrats, we're going to be celebrating in style, like the French would want us to. Here are some ideas.

Go to the French thing going on in your 'hood. If you live in a city -- and even if you don't -- I will bet a thousand dollars that there is some sort of French-themed activity happening nearby, be it a parade, live music, or a special deal at that French restaurant you've been meaning to try. Now's as good a time as any.

Cook a French meal. If you've searched high and low and just can't seem to find one g.d. accessible French thing, make your own. Whip up some coq au vin or a beautiful souffle. Come on, is there anything more appealing to you than putting together an elaborate French meal in the sweltering heat after nine hours at the office? Do it!

Drink wine. More wine than usual. Don't go home from work or unwind after dealing with the kids by having a glass or two. Not on Bastille Day. That would be weak. Drink a bottle. And drink it fast. Before your husband gets home, so you can be like, "Oh, hey, honey, I was thinking we'd crack open this lovely vintage wine I picked up at CVS." Then you'll get to have a bottle and a half. That's so French.

Wear a beret. I mean, seriously, is there anything more Bastille? And if you really want to go for it, throw in a striped shirt, a neatly tied silk scarf, and a fake mustache. A French person would totally start speaking French to you if she saw you on the street. And you might magically start speaking back.

Light fireworks. France celebrates Bastille Day with fireworks just like we do for the Fourth. And you know you have a box left over. You can also throw on some burgers and dogs on the grill in conjunction. And you can hoist your American flag. Just don't forget to say, "Happy Bastille Day!"

Are you celebrating Bastille Day?


Image via jan lewandowski/Flickr

Read More