Easter Celebrations in France
The French call it Pâques.
The main celebration sets off on Good Friday with a solemn note. Church bells do not ring for three days starting from Good Friday till the Easter Sunday. This is a token of mourning for the crucified Christ.
Early on Easter morning the children rush into the garden to watch the bells "Fly back from Rome". As the small folk scan the sky for a glimpse of the returning bells their elders hide chocolate eggs.
As in other Christian countries, the shops, markets and the bakeries all gets decorated in the Easter theme, with chocolate eggs and chocolate rabbits, bells and chickens. However, what is unique to France is that even fish, also finds a place in the decorations in a big way. This is probably because April fool’s day is called April’s fish, in France.
The Easter bunny is slowly getting popularity in France, but it has a long way to go to catch up with the traditional cloches de Pâques, or “flying bells” custom, which is entrusted to bring gifts to the children. The custom says that all church bells fly to the Vatican on Good Friday to get blessed by the Pope. On their way back, they bring goodies and chocolates, for the good and well behaved kids in the neighbourhood, much like Santa Claus.
There is another Easter tradition unique to France, in the town of Bessières, located in South West France. Here, 1500 fresh eggs are used to make a SINGLE omelette, and more than 10,000 people gather to witness this wonderful spectacle. Over 40 cooks, really long sticks and a 4 meter pan is used to cook this wonderful omelette.
Flying Bells! How France celebrates Easter