Night Watch

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Night Watch

July 13
La Retraite aux Flambeaux, or the Night Watch, is a half-holiday in France that is celebrated on the eve of Bastille Day. The lights in Paris are darkened in remembrance of the day in 1789 when the Bastille fell. Colorful processions of soldiers, patriotic bands, and people bearing torches and Chinese lanterns march through the streets, followed by crowds of spectators. The procession usually ends at the home of a prominent citizen, who offers the torch- and lantern-bearers something to drink.
CONTACTS:
French Government Tourist Office
444 Madison Ave., 16th Fl.
New York, NY 10022
800-391-4909 or 212-838-7800; fax: 212-838-7855
www.francetourism.com
SOURCES:
AnnivHol-2000, p. 117
BkFest-1937, p. 125