French-Themed Celebrations

Ideas for celebrating à la française

For Francophiles, any time is a good time to celebrate French, but there is one holiday in particular that cries out for a French-themed party: Bastille Day. Here are some ideas for a party with some French panache.

Decorations
If you're going for patriotic Bastille Day colors, Americans have it easy: you can just reuse your red, white, and blue bunting from the 4th of July. You might also consider investing in some posters, or make your own by blowing up your favorite photos of France.

If you're feeling artistic or playful, decorate place card with little drawings of the Eiffel Tower, or make tiny berets or French flags as party favors.

Discussions
To get people in a chatty mood, consider one of these topic ideas:
   - French quotations - offer up a few of your favorite Francophone words of wisdom for discussion.
   - Today in Francophone history - talk about famous French people who share each guest's birthday.
   - Travel stories - anyone who has been to France will be eager to talk about it. Set up a projector to swap stories and photos.
   - French culture - there's no shortage of discussion topics when it comes to French movies, plays, literature...
   - French is better than... everything - I put this together just for fun; see if you can add to my lists, or come up with new ones.
   - Spanish is easier than French - fact or fiction?

Entertainment
Don't forget to have some nice French music playing in the background, or even a movie.



Food and Drink
Nothing says fête like good French food and drinks. Some classic foods are cheese, crêpes, fondue, French onion soup, pâté, pissaladière, quiche, ratatouille, croissants, and a variety of French breads. For dessert, try chocolate mousse, and crème brûlée. As for beverages, there's wine, champagne, pastis, chartreuse, coffee, and Orangina.

Bon appétit !

Vive la France!