Feu de joie

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A feu de joie (French: "fire of joy") is a rifle salute, described as a "running fire of guns", on occasions of public rejoicing of nation and/or ruling dynasty. It can also mean a bonfire lit in a public place as a token of joy.

During the 18th and 19th centuries, it was used to mark a military victory or birthday. A feu de joie is not to be confused with the 21-gun salute (or 19-gun or 17-gun, etc.) which uses a battery of artillery pieces, nor with the 3-volley salute performed at military funerals.

Historical precedents

A spectacular feu de joie ran up and down double lines of infantrymen at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, on 6 May 1778 to celebrate America's alliance with France. It is re-enacted yearly.

Queen Victoria's proclamation as Empress of India in Delhi on 1 January 1877 was followed with a feu de joie described by Field Marshal Lord Roberts: "a salute of one hundred and one salvos of artillery was fired, with a feu-de-joie from the long line of troops. This was too much for the elephants. As the feu-de-joie approached nearer and nearer to them, they became more and more alarmed, and at last scampered off, dispersing the crowd in every direction."

A Captain Eben Williams witnessed a feu de joie during summer 1782 at West Point, to celebrate the birth of the Dauphin of France.

Delhi Durbar 1911

During the Delhi Coronation Durbar of King George V, a Feu de Joi followed the 101 Gun Salute during the State Entry ceremony on 07 Dec...
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