07 April 2012

Easter Traditions in France

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.

                                      See my pinterest Easter board for photo credit

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 like this:

                                                                  Photo source: here

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.

                                                        photo source: Easter board

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.

                                                         Photo source: Easter board

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, isn't it interesting just how much of the holiday (Church, meaning, chocolates, colored eggs, egg hunts, etc)...are the same as what we do here Stateside!

What's your favorite Easter tradition?

Wishing you all Joyeuses Pâques,

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


  1. I believe the "poisson d'avril" is for April 1, which in France is "April Fools Day" just as it is here.

  2. I loved this post ! So fascinating and your photos are gorgeous. I love reading about other country's traditions.

  3. That is correct; it started as an April 1st tradition and my sources say it was by putting a paper fish on someones back and them not know it was there...this kind of parlayed into the Chocolate fish that is enjoyed on Easter; much like the chocolate bunny here!

  4. Thanks, Lisa! If you like reading about other countries traditions make sure you also check out Craig Froman's blog (our guest poster 4/9) and enter the giveaway for his book! He is a treasure trove of information about other countries and very entertaining! Thanks for stopping by, Katie


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