National Day holidays celebrated in different countries
Updated: 2013-09-27 11:32
By Mao Jing and Wang Yu (Chinadaily.com.cn)
France Bastille Day: Built during the 12th century in downtown Paris, Bastille was then a fortress to defend the British during the Hundred Years War. After Henry IV, the French King had stationed a large number of troops there and at the end of the 18th century, it was turned into a prison where many state criminals, such as the great writer Voltaire, was one of its inmates. Bastille was hence regarded as the symbol of French royal rule. On July 14, 1789, the people of Paris, fearful that they and their representatives would be attacked by the royal military, and seeking to gain ammunition and gunpowder for the general populace, stormed the Bastille. Since then, July 14 has become France's National Day usually referred to as Bastille Day.