In all departments of France, including overseas departments like Martinique, 14 July is celebrated as National Day, also called “Bastille Day”.
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National Day looks back to the day in 1789 when the Bastille prison house was stormed by French revolutionaries. It is considered the beginning of the French Revolution and the French Republic.
While the main National Day celebrations take place in Paris, France, there are events and observances in Martinique as well. For example, many stores will shut down for the day to give people time off to celebrate with their family. And you may also see parades or cultural events anywhere throughout the island.
One appropriate place to tour in Martinique on National Day is the Pagerie Museum, which is a reconstruction of the birthplace of Josephine, the famous “lady friend” of Napoleon Bonaparte. The museum takes its name after Joseph de la Pagerie, Josephine’s father and the planter-owner of the estate.
Although most of Martinique’s population is of mixed French and African blood (only three percent “unmixed” French descent) and the island speaks a creole similar to that found in Haiti (but French is the official language), the people nonetheless consider themselves French and celebrate National Day with great enthusiasm.