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.
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.
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,