Easter is a religious celebration that is very common within France. Throughout the country, masses and processions take place everywhere. Easter Sunday is also a day when families and friends gather to enjoy this moment by savouring delicious meals and of course, a lot of chocolate.
Easter is a celebration that came about from the Catholic and Judaic religions. It commemorates the Christ resurrection, and thus, is the most important Christian celebration. French Christians go to attend the Veillée Pascale (Easter Eve), which falls between the night before Easter, and Easter Sunday, along with the Messe de Pâques (Easter Mass) the Sunday. Just as in Great-Britain, the following Monday is a bank holiday in France.
For children, the best moment of this holiday is during the morning when the treasure hunt begins to find chocolates, which are hidden by their parents within their homes. According to the catholic legend, the Church bells go to Rome on the Maundy Thursday and come back on Sunday. On the way, they spread chocolate eggs in the gardens and in their homes. Afterwards is the time that everybody (adults as well!) can savour chocolate in various forms. The most common form is the egg, which is a symbol of life and rebirth, but there are also hens, bells and fish.
It is also an occasion to enjoy a lunch with both family and friends, which generally can last until the evening. The traditional dish is the Gigot d’agneau (leg of lamb), which serves as a remembrance of Christ’s sacrifice. The lamb represents purity, innocence and justice.
During the Easter period, on Sunday, people will also give out chocolates to the children of their friends and family. Some chocolates will even come with toys or little surprises. The supermarkets are full of these chocolate products as well, so we may wonder if children are really the main consumers! Let’s not forget that France is a country of chocolate lovers!