Bastille Day 2019 – Today’s Doodle, illustrated by London-based guest artist Emmanuelle Walker, celebrates Bastille Day, La Fête Nationale, or Le 14 Juillet. This French national holiday commemorates the storming of the Bastille Saint-Antoine on this day in 1789, signaling the start of French Revolution—as well as a worldwide shift toward democracy and the values of Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité (“liberty, equality, fraternity.”)
Festivities take place all over France and amongst French communities worldwide on this day off. In Paris, tricolor flags fly all over the capital city, while the stirring sounds of La Marseillaise ring throughout the arrondissements. A grand parade, attended by world leaders and French citizens alike, marches along the historic Champs-Elysées from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, as military aircraft fly overhead. This tradition dates back to 1880, making it one of the world’s oldest national parades.
The Paris Fire Brigade also march in the parade, even if they spent the previous night dancing. Bal Des Pompiers or “Dance of the Firemen” are held at fire stations across Paris, both before and after the big day. This year, crowds will gather in the evening at the Eiffel Tower and gardens of Trocadéro for a concert by the Orchestre national de France.
The evening concludes with a grand fireworks display not only in Paris but throughout all of France. No matter how big or small one’s city, for the French people, Bastille Day is an occasion to celebrate with festivities par excellence.
Guest Artist Q&A with Emanuelle Walker
Today’s Doodle was created by London-based guest artist Emanuelle Walker.
Below she shares her thoughts on making the Doodle:
Q: Why was this topic meaningful to you personally?
A: Being Swiss and Canadian, I feel very close to the French people on many levels. I also spent six years living in France. It reminded me of the good times and of all the dear friends I met during this time.
Q: What were your first thoughts when you were approached about the project?
A: I was very excited! I have always been secretly dreaming of working on a Doodle. I remember the first ones in the early 2000s. I thought it was such a clever idea to add an illustration to the Google logo in commemoration of special events or notable figures.
Q: Did you draw inspiration from anything in particular for this Doodle?
A: I tried to visualize what I remembered of Bastille Day celebrations back when I was living in Paris. One particular night where we all gathered to watch the fireworks on a friend’s rooftop, we had to climb out the Velux window, and clamber up to the top of the Haussmannian roof. The sky resembled a wavy sea in motion above our heads. The lights and smoky colors had been carefully picked to match the French flag chroma. Blues, reds, and whites reflected on us at dawn. Of course, Bastille Day has a deep and complex history, but it’s that “Bleu-Blanc-Rouge” celebratory atmosphere I wanted to depict here.
Q: What message do you hope people take away from your Doodle?
A: Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité in a world where there could be much more of it.
Early drafts by guest artist Emanuelle Walker
You can find more about Bastille Day 2019 on the official Google Doodle Page