Pondicherry gives you a taste of France in India in many ways. In its architecture, cuisine, language, restaurants, cobblestoned streets and cafes, the strong influence of French culture is unmissable. That’s only natural, considering the long association of Pondicherry with the French. Another example of this French legacy is the Bastille Day, which celebrates the Storming of the Bastille. It is also known as French National Day and is celebrated on 14th July every year. In Pondicherry, the Bastille Day is one of the most popular festivals, and is celebrated with gusto. The day starts with the French citizens and the French consulate in Pondicherry paying solemn tributes to war heroes at the French War Memorial on Goubert Avenues. Inside the Consulate General Building, national anthems of India and France are played to celebrate the friendly relations between India and France.
Parties are held throughout the city with French cuisine dominating their menus. In the evening of the festival, fireworks displays are held on the Beach Promenade area. The Consulate General building, illuminated by these fireworks, appears more beautiful than ever. A torchlight procession with participants carrying red, white and blue lanterns is also taken out in the evening by the city’s residents. The celebrations on the Bastille Day in Pondicherry are open to everybody. Tourists from France are pleasantly surprised at the festivities marking Bastille Day, and you can often hear a remark or two which goes like, “This is the next best place to be in after France on Bastille Day”.
French National Day, popularly known as Bastille Day, is celebrated on 14th July every year.
Special Highlights/Rituals of the Festival
- Bastille Day is one of the most famous celebrations in Pondicherry.
- The day is marked by parades, parties and firework displays.
- A special attraction is the illuminated Consulate General building in the evening.