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Easter traditions in France


France, regarded the sacred cradle of Christianity, celebrates Easter with great fanfare and vigor. The entire country revels in the Eastertide festivities and shops are beautifully decorated with white and dark chocolate rabbits, chickens, bells and fish. Children wake up on the Easter Sunday morning and look in the nests they have placed in their yards or gardens, expecting to find beautifully decorated Easter eggs place in them.


Easter Celebration In France

Easter Fish
The traditional Easter bunnies are not found in France, except Alsace (which borders Germany). In a marked deviation from Easter festivities elsewhere, Easter celebrations in France incorporate the Easter symbols of bells and fish. The French Easter fish are called 'Poisson d'Avril', which means 'April Fish'. The Poisson d'Avril makes his appearance on the 1st of April, as French children delight in playing a kind of 'April Fool's' trick. They stick a paper fish onto the back of as many adults as possible.

Flying Bells
Cloche volant or Flying Bells are another important part of the Easter traditions of France. French Catholics believe that on Good Friday, all the church bells in France fly to the Vatican in Rome, carrying with them the misery and grief of those who mourn Jesus' crucifixion on that day. These flying bells return on Easter Sunday morning and bring with them lots of chocolate and eggs. In keeping with the tradition, French church bells do not ring from Good Friday to Easter morning.

Easter Eggs
The contest of rolling raw eggs down a gentle slope is an old custom followed in France, on the ceremonious occasion of Easter. As per the legends, the surviving egg was the victory egg and symbolized the stone being rolled away from the tomb of the Christ. For kids, playing with eggs is one of the favorite pastimes, on the holiday season of Easter. The little ones play a game, in which, the players have to throw their respective eggs up in the air and catch them. The first one to drop his/her egg loses the game. On Easter Sunday, the children in France wake up in the morning, to find eggs scattered in their rooms. They then head towards their yard or garden, to retrieve beautifully decorated Easter eggs, hid in nests.

Traditional Feast
Lamb is traditionally cooked for Easter in France. 'Gigot D'agneau' (leg of lamb) is prepared in many Christian household in France, especially for the ceremonious occasion. Among the traditional recipes of France, lamb stew is very popular. The typical French recipe is prepared by making use of spring vegetables.