Firemen's Dance

Firemen's place
A lantern and the tricolour
before a fire station in Paris
Bonjour Monsieur ! the guy told me with a big smile while I was quietly walking in the boulevard. How about a couple of tickets?

Damn, I was lost in thought, I did not see him. A fireman, selling raffle tickets for the firemen's dance. Firemen have been everywhere in Paris for several weeks. I succeeded in steering clear of them until now, but I got nabbed at the end! No luck, definitely!

French people celebrate their national holiday, Bastille Day, on July 14. Le 14 Juillet, as they call it, commemorates the storming of the Bastille fortress on 14 July 1789, an event that marked the beginning of the French Revolution. Although the prison held few prisoners at the time, its storming has become a symbol of freedom and fight against oppression for the French.

The holiday symbolizes the birth of the Republic, whose motto is Liberté, Égalité, Fraternité (Freedom, Equality, Brotherhood). Firemen are undoubtedly a good illustration of the brotherhood part of the motto, all the more since the French are not that fond of other people who wear a uniform.

Bastille Day's festivities begin on the evening of July 13 with free dances organized in the streets of every town, and especially in every fire station — it is Le bal des pompiers, Firemen's Dance. Hence the tickets the guy wanted to sell me, for a tombola during the dance at his fire station. He'd got some nerve, don't you think? After all, if you decide to go to a fire station tonight, you'll see a lot of gorgeous women for sure, but they won't even look at you, interested as they will be in firemen only. And this, frankly speaking, is something I can hardly understand: these guys in uniform are young, strong, handsome, cheerful, and they save lives... so what?

So, how about a couple of raffle tickets? the fireman repeated.

Well, see, I answered hypocritically with a friendly smile, I'd better not buy any. My wife and daughter will be so glad to buy them by themselves, you know!

1 comment(s):

    Ooooooooooh. Firemen. *smiles*

    What a lovely tradition.


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