Franschhoek Bastille Festival
Bastille Day is a French National Holiday celebrated on 14 July each year. It commemorates the 1790 Fête de la Fédération, held on the first anniversary of the storming of the Bastille on 14 July 1789, which was seen as a symbol of the uprising of the modern French “nation”, and of the reconciliation of all the French inside the constitutional monarchy which preceded the First Republic, during the French Revolution.
Every year on the weekend closest to this day, the village of Franschhoek (in the Western Cape) celebrates its French Huguenot past.
The Huguenots settled in the valley in the 1600’s and bought along with them many of their traditions, such as wine making.
A number of the farms in the valley still carry the names give to them by the Huguenots, who names their farms after the region in France from which they fled.
The Bastille Festival offers a number of gourmet delights, wine tasting, bolus competitions, as well as the annual fly-fishing competition. It is a great time to be in the valley – wonderful food and drink abounds – and this is a festival not to be missed.
The country’s finest award-winning chefs and winemakers set up stalls in the town centre, offering delicious fare from oysters, local and imported cheese to charcuterie, hand-made chocolates and salmon trout from the valley, complemented by Franschhoek’s fine wines. The town’s famous restaurants, craft shops, galleries, boutiques and food shops offer specials and guests can try their hand at boules, listen to musicians or shop up a storm at market stalls.
Celebrating its French heritage, traditional boules competitions are held to further enhance the French “feel” of the valley. There is a great deal of fun to be had. This fertile valley is nestled between towering mountains in the heart of the Cape Winelands. The picturesque village has become world-famous for its warm hospitality, superb cuisine and outstanding arts and crafts. Do not miss out on the celebrations!