France: Bastille Day

Happy Bastille Day from the MCCN!

Bastille Day is the French national holiday celebrated every year on July 14th. When in France, you may call the holiday La Fête Nationale (National Celebration), or Le Quatorze Juillet (the fourteenth of July).

The holiday memorializes the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, a festive commemoration held on the first anniversary of the July 14th, 1789 storming of the Bastille fortress-prison.

The storming of the Bastille was an episode in French history where protesters demonstrated against the tyrannical royal authority and raided the Bastille for arms and ammunition. To the citizens, the prison was the ultimate symbol of royal oppression and autocracy. Prisoners included   people jailed on flimsy, arbitrary royal indictments and political prisoners imprisoned for publishing material found offensive to the royal court.

Serving as the flashpoint for the French Revolution, the storming of the Bastille gave way to the abolishment of feudalism and the proclamation of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen.

Festivities include a national parade, picnic, ball and garden party, all attended by President of the Republic.

Celebrate France’s steps towards democracy with these recipes for Bastille Day.

Check out Wikipedia for more Bastille Day history.

Happy Bastille Day from the MCCN!

Setting The Table: More than Meets the Eye

Beautiful table setting

A beautiful table sets a mood. Having grown up eating my holiday dinners at a set table with silver,  China or the best dishes we had, I was taken by surprise the very first time I was passed a paper plate on my first Thanksgiving away from home while attending college.  Moreover, my pupils dialated when I saw an assembly line form to collect our ration and retreat to whatever corner of the house pleased a person.  This is the story of many households.  Sadly, even my family has taken to increasing societal way of making life easy with paper or disposable plastic.  I have been accused of being a snob in regards to this subject.   However, table setting for me is much more than a tradition but an intimate experience.  It reflects that one has taken the time to make your dining experience not only enriched by the eating of food but made provisions for a festive, elegant or warm environment.  Setting the table can be seen as a formality but look closer and you may recognize the gift of one’s self poured over the table.- by Crystal A. Johnson


Happy Holidays from the staff at MCCN!