Easter, called Pâques in France, is a Christian festivity that commemorates the rebirth of Jesus. The Easter Sunday, a day of celebration with lots of food and chocolate, always follows the Good Friday (the day of Jesus’ death).
Every year on Easter morning children wake up impatient to look for the chocolate eggs that their parents have hidden in the garden or the house and while in England children are told that eggs were brought by rabbits (the emblem of the goddess Eostre or Easter honoured by the Saxons in Spring); in France, the legendary explains that on Good Thursday, all church bells went to Rome (with their wings) to see the Pope and that they came back on Sunday with eggs in order to announce the rebirth of Jesus.
This year Easter Sunday is on April 24th, and even if all French people are not religious anymore, all of them will celebrate Pâques by hiding colourful chocolate eggs, rabbits, bells, hens or fish around their homes, and enjoy eating them.
Of course, Pâques is also a day to enjoy a good time with your family and eat a good meal. The typical dish on Easter Sunday is a leg of lamb. This tradition has several explanations but the most popular one is that French people eat lamb at Easter as a souvenir of the Lamb of God which gave its life to save the world. Another explanation can be that the lamb is the meat of the season.
But, Easter is not only a day to commemorate the rebirth of Jesus and eat some chocolate. It is also the beginning of spring with more and more sunny days and beautiful landscapes full of flowers.
Besides, every year at Easter children have 2 weeks of spring vacation that means they can celebrate Easter happily and benefit from the beginning of spring. Some families take advantage of those 2 weeks to go on holiday and spend time with grandparents and cousins.
Finally, this period of the year is very important for chocolate makers who have prepared this event for several months to be sure everything will be perfect for their customers: every chocolate maker’s windows will be full of wonderful and delicious chocolate eggs, animals (fish, rabbits, mice, hens…) and bells.
The origin of the word “Pâques”:
The word Pâques comes from the Hebrew Pessa’h which is the name of the Jewish festivity which celebrates the exodus from Egypt because the gospel says that the rebirth of Jesus happened during the festivity.
So now, I hope that this presentation of French Easter has made you want to visit France, because it is a wonderful time to go on holiday here and why not plan your viewing trip.