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National Day

National Day 2019 and 2020

As Guadeloupe is an overseas department of France, it celebrates National Day, also known as “Bastille Day”, with the rest of France every 14 July. This day looks back to the storming of the Bastille prison house at the beginning of the French Revolution back in 1789.

201914 JulSunNational Day
202014 JulTueNational Day

The tyrannical power of Louis XVI and the French monarchy in general is symbolised by the Bastille, where political prisoners were often held. In France, a military parade passes by the Bastille on National Day; in Guadeloupe, parades also march to symbolise the triumph over tyranny, even if the Bastille itself is far away.

There are also official ceremonies, military pageants, fireworks displays, and other festive public events in Guadeloupe on National Day. You will see French flags proudly displayed and hear many singing patriotic songs.

Even though Guadeloupe has its own “Antillean Creole” version of French and has its own ethnic, cultural, and historical identity, the people of the island are a part of France politically. And even those who long for the independence of Guadeloupe still celebrate Bastille Day for the resistance to, and defeat of, tyranny that it represents.