Summer Memory: A Child's Bastille Day in France

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A memorable summer event.

A Child's Bastille Day in France

Fireworks and the Eiffel Tower.

I grew up in a tiny village.

For Bastille Day, there would always be games for the kids, and a big barbecue for the whole village, organised either by the football club or by the hunters' association.

And the night before, there would be a lantern parade through the streets with music playing, followed by the fireworks show.

The one that stands out, and that has over the years received family legend status, happened when I was about 6.

Picture this :

July 13th, 10pm, night falling, time for the parade.

Don't rain on my parade, you could say.

Except it does.

A lot.

It's pouring and pouring and not looking like it's going to stop any time soon.

There are 20, maybe 30 kids, paper lanterns at the ready, and looking forward to marching.

So the parade takes place.

Inside the village hall.

Close your eyes and look at it: 30 kids, 50-odd adults, walking around the main room of the village hall for half an hour, with their paper lanterns on sticks.

Of course, the kids were having fun. They were waving their sticks around, with the lit lanterns attached.

Until what was bound to happen, happened.

One of the kids waved her stick too hard. (wasn't me, promise!)

The lantern caught fire, fell to the ground, and had to be trampled off.

What a night!

Almost 30 years on, still fondly remembered.

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