We hope you are enjoying a delightful Easter with family and friends. As we all move into a lovely Easter break, we thought we would share a little about the tradition of Easter in France and how it is celebrated a little differently.
Just like in Australia, in France, the Children’s Easter Egg Hunt(la chasse aux œufs)is a greatly anticipated event, however, instead of the Easter Bunny delivering the Easter Eggs, it’s the Flying Bells!
Children are delighted on Easter morning when they hear the church bells ring, as this beautiful sound signifies the return of the ‘Cloche Volant’ or the ‘Flying Bells’ from the Vatican in Rome. These ‘Flying Bells’ bring with them lots of chocolates in the form of eggs, bells and fish for the children to hunt for in the garden.
In Catholic tradition the Church bells do not ring between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Children grow up learning that the bells fly to Rome on a pair of tiny wings to be blessed and return scattering chocolates randomly around the countryside for all children to find.
As the bells ring across towns and villages on Easter Sunday, the egg hunt begins – usually to the delightful singsong words of children shouting“les cloches sont passées !”.
Easter in France
The Easter holiday is an important time for family to spend together. The traditional Easter meal is usually a long meal with multiple courses which typically, has a main course of lamb which is representative of re-birth and the Springtime.
Many families also serve an Easter brioche called la gâche de Pâques, a ring shaped pastry which features a colored Easter egg in its center.
During the Reign of Louis XIV, at the court of Versailles during the Reign of Louis XIV, Easter eggs were decorated using gold leaf.
There are many organsed Easter egg hunts around Paris and throughout France. The largest and most famous hunt is held at the Château Vaux-le-Vicomte.