The storming of the Bastille has been commemorated in France for more than a century. Paris was in a state of high agitation in the early months of the French revolution. On the morning of July 14, 1789 a crowd broke into the Bastille and released the handful of prisoners held there. The anniversary of the storming of the Bastille is seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern French nation, and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic.
Now a national holiday, Bastille Day is celebrated with a mixture of solemn military parades and easygoing dancing and fireworks.