From delicious chocolates and festive family meals to amusing holiday games and special church services, it’s not hard to see that Easter is quite a celebration in France!
With its strong Catholic history, France delights in Easter festivities – boutiques are decorated with pretty chocolate bunnies to the joy of the kids; as for the grown-ups, they enjoy their three-day long weekend to take a well-deserved break and visit family and friends.
Celebrated with great enthusiasm, Easter in Paris is all about exciting Easter egg hunts, gourmet getaways, festive concerts and imposing celebrations at the Notre-Dame Cathedral or the Sacré-Cœur Basilica…
Read along to discover some curious French Easter traditions and to make the most of our hints on how to celebrate your Parisian Easter “à la française”…
As a part of the country’s Roman-Catholic past, most French Easter traditions have a religious background.
The tradition of offering eggs as an Easter gift, for example, rose during the 4th century A.D. Considered a symbol of rebirth and fertility, many French Easter games involve the use of eggs. Hunting in the garden for hidden chocolate eggs is a traditional Easter pastime for children.
Another old Easter custom is the contest of rolling raw eggs down a gentle hill. Symbolizing the stone which rolled away from Jesus’ tomb, the surviving egg is declared the victor!
Another very charming ritual (according to which the French church bells do not ring from Good Friday to Easter Sunday morning) tells the story of the “cloches volantes” (the “flying bells”) which remain silent for a few days in remembrance of Jesus’ passing. To comfort the children, parents explain that all French church bells have flown off to Rome to visit the Pope but that they will return on Sunday morning bearing chocolates and eggs!
If you want to play Easter by the French rules, check our list of activities covering kids, couples and families – there’s something for everyone to be happy!
An egg hunt for the children
Want to participate in the largest Easter egg hunt in France while exploring a gorgeous 17th century castle located just outside Paris? To celebrate Easter, a huge Easter egg hunt is organized in the French gardens of the Chateaux Vaux le Vicomte, a place which knows how to give the royal treatment to children…With more than 50 000 chocolate eggs hidden among its groves, sculptures and secret corners, this sure will be one Easter event to remember!
A floating Easter lunch for the whole family
Have you ever considered celebrating Easter “at sea”? Then why not opt for a slightly less conventional festive Easter lunch for a change? Embark on a friendly and memorable water journey and celebrate Easter on board! Explore the magic of Paris unfold in front of your very eyes behind the panoramic glass roofs of the Bateaux Parisiens. Enjoy your meal prepared “on board” by the chef while classic French tunes enhance your rendez-vous with the Eiffel Tower, the Notre Dame and the Orsay Museum even more!
An Easter concert for the romantic couple
The “cultural” cherry on the cake? Finish your “Easter in Paris” program with a classical concert enjoyed in La Sainte-Chapelle, the pearl of French Gothic architecture. Home to over 100 performances a year, it offers one of Paris’ most breathtaking settings for appreciating a superb performance of classical music. In 2014, Easter weekend will be commemorated with masterworks of the classical repertoire, including Haydn’s “The Seven Last Words of Christ”, Mozart’s “Requiem”, Vivaldi’s “Credo in E Minor”, Bach’s “Passions” and more…
However you choose to celebrate, make it a time for you and your loved ones to enjoy each other’s company!
Joyeuses Pâques from Studios Paris!