Le quatorze juillet, or Bastille Day as it is known outside of France, drew hundreds of thousands of spectators to Paris today for the celebrations, but the event was left in tatters by an unexpected storm.
The day is a national holiday in France, but, being a Sunday anyway, this didn't matter, unless you were one of those poor buggers who has to work on the Sabbath.
By lunchtime, an enormous crowd had gathered around the medieval armory, fortress and political prison, with more people convened on the Champs d'Elysées singing, chanting, dancing, and eating frogs' legs.
Suddenly, a breeze started to blow, and dark, menacing clouds rolled in from the west. Spots of rain started to fall, and there was a clap of thunder in the distance, accompanied soon after by a flash of lightning.
At first, the crowd stood its ground, but, as the rain increased in drop size, and the wind became blusterier, a murmur arose and shouts went up:
"Storm! STORM! STORM!"
People ran this way and that, and there were screams as people struggled to open umbrellas or look for cover. The scene was one of utter chaos, with the normally orderly Parisiennes now in open revolt.
The rain became a torrential downpour, with many people seeking safety inside the Bastille itself, until later, when the storm abated, the skies cleared, and the sun came out.
Then everybody went home for some snails.