Easter traditions in France

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Easter in France is celebrated much the same way it is in America…there are religious observations and secular traditions all tied into a holiday that, for the French, is a three day holiday.

Les cloches de Pâques: The church bells silence on the Thursday before Good Friday,  in acknowledgement of Jesus’ death and do not ring again until Easter Sunday morning. Little children are told the bells have went off to Rome (to visit the Pope) and that when they come back, they have brought the colored Easter eggs with them.  In some villages, people kiss and embrace one another when they hear the bells ring.

                   One of the old bells in the bell tower of the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

Les oeufs de Pâques: Happy French children awake to beautifully colored eggs, just like children here do. Hunting for Easter eggs that have been hidden in gardens, homes and even playgrounds is also popular.  While children are finding colored eggs as we have here in America, Parisian shops are turning out high end chocolate eggs.

Since every village has at least one or more candy shops (confiseries), Easter is the perfect time for the master chocolatiers to show their wares, and many of the shops in Paris have their window displays dressed in their finest come Easter Sunday.

Poisson D’Avril: French Easter Fish. In France, instead of chocolate bunnies, it is more traditional to give another a chocolate fish! You will also find chocolate “flying bells” in the stores waiting to be added to your Easter Basket.

Easter games: Children roll an UNcooked egg down a slope. The egg that survives without breaking is considered the Victory egg and symbolized the stone having been rolled away from the tomb.

Chocolate fish aside, it is so interesting just how much of the holiday (Church, meaning, chocolates, colored eggs, egg hunts, etc)…are the same as what we do Stateside.

What’s your favorite Easter tradition?

Wishing you all Joyeuses Pâques,

sources: http://www.frenchfriends.info/culture/easter-paques-traditions

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