Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Parisian Spring Bastille Day Contest

Bastille Day may be France's national holiday, but people all over the world seem to enjoy celebrating 1789's most infamous prison break.  For example, cities all over the United States (even Milwaukee!) hold block parties,  stage Bastille-storming reenactments, and drink plenty of celebratory wine.

For my own July 14th celebration I'm hosting the first Parisian Spring Bastille Day Contest!  You could win one of my favorite books about the City of Light: "The Sweet Life in Paris," by David Lebovitz.  His observations on life in Paris among the Parisians will ring true to anyone who has spent time there (or inspire anyone who hasn't spent time there to buy a plane ticket already), and the recipes that accompany each chapter are easy and delicious.

Of course, Bastille Day isn't really about food, but it is largely about the French military (see: impressive military parade on the Champs-Elysées), so I'll also throw in mousepad with a World War I-era French propaganda poster.  Vive la France!

You know you want to read up on la vie Parisienne while baking a French gâteau and gazing at your tri-colore and Marianne inspired mousepad, do you enter the Parisian Spring Bastille Day Contest?

It's easy!  Just leave a comment below telling me how you plan to celebrate Bastille Day.  And since this French-inspired contest is blissfully free of French bureaucracy, I'll accept any comment that has any French theme you can think of.  Not celebrating Bastille Day?  Tell me what you love about France, or a French word you know, or a French city you'd like to visit.  No red tape here, just prizes.

A few important details:

1.  The Parisian Spring Bastille Day Contest starts today and ends at noon EST on July 14th.
2.  I will select a winner using the tried and true method of picking a name out of a hat.
3.  Be sure to leave your email address with your comment so I can contact you if you win.
4.  If you also tweet this contest and mention @TanyaBrothen I will enter your name into the hat twice.
4.  I will ship the prizes anywhere in the world.
5.  Have fun!  We are celebrating libertéégalité, and fraternité, after all.

So, what are you doing this year to celebrate Bastille Day?


Lou and Erin said...

I don't want to get a book TB's...but I was actually looking at some of your posts to get some tips about spending my 3rd anniversary (July 14th of course) in Paris. We are taking Erin's little sister there who has never been to France, to the one and only city of lights!! Can't wait!

Any particular hotel or neighborhoods you recommend staying in? We booked last Tuesday on a whim! WHooo HOOOO!

Blue Penguin said...

Oooh, I've been eyeing this book on Amazon for a while now - what a great giveaway! I'll be spending this Bastille Day plotting how I will be spending my time three months later, when I will be in France for real (eep!) - currently the plans involve looking out over the rooftops, drinking vast amounts of banania, trying my first macaron (I'm keeping this to do in Paris), and walking miles and miles taking in the sights and sounds and smells... and especially the tastes! And I think there should be a campaign started to wear stripes on Bastille Day :)

Sara said...

I nearly bought this book last week, but I'm in a "lockdown mode" with my finances. :) This year I'm making a picnic for Bastille day (I'm really corny like this) using, what else, French recipes!

Karen said...

I am going to attempt to make macaroons, which I will share with friends and co-workers.

Karen said...

Lou and Erin (sorry, Tanya, hope I'm not out of line here) - I LOVE the Hotel New Orient on rue de Constantinople! Inexpensive, charming, very French, conveniently located, and the most friendly and helpful people!

Aaron said...

there are so many things i want to do on the 14th, eat macaroons, drink wine, eat cheese, sit in in the lawn looking at the eiffel tower doing all of the above...but being in florida i will simple revisit the city through pictures and a cup of coffee.
and thanks for your blog, it helps keep my travel imagination going

snoopychef said...

I'll be remembering the time my late husband & I spent in France. We missed our flight home because I wanted to see the city from the top of the Eiffel Tower not allowing extra time to get to the airport. We founds some streets were closed for the celebration & traffic was congested.

The airline, US AIR, flew us home the next day - first class. We always celebrated Bastille Day as a lucky day for us. It was the only way we could have ever flown first class.

Paris was a magical city for us. We were there for 1999 New Years Eve celebration too. The French really know how to bring in a new century!

Thanks for the memories :)

Tanya said...

@Blue Penguin, @Sara, @Karen, @Aaron, @snoopychef - Awesome to hear what you'll be doing to celebrate Bastille Day!

@Karen - You're definitely not out of line. I like seeing France travel advice on the blog! Thanks for sharing.

Greg said...

Nothing too fancy for me, though I am listening right now to Rush sing "Bastille Day" in honour of the day (

Maybe later I'll drink a Kronenburg.

I was in Paris for Bastille Day in 2008 - lots of tanks. (

Melina said...

We celebrated last night by going to the Sevres town party! As most of the people around Paris head into the city on the 14th to celebrate, the smaller suburbs do their celebrations on the night before, the 13th. There was a huge stage with the young and old of Sevres dancing their booties off (French style) and then a fireworks show we watched from our houses roof! Not sure if we'll see more fireworks tonight.. its been storming allll day. Happy 14th!

Zhu said...

I'm sorry I missed the contest! I celebrated in the "family house" by the seaside in Brittany and we had no Internet and no TV, hence the late blogging. Oh well, we had nice fireworks on the beach ;-)