You may have this image of Paris as a free, open, and liberated city. And for the most part, it's all true. The very daring and progressive society in the French capital is part of its charm; one of the main reasons why many people find it such an exciting place. With that said, however, Paris remains a traditional city too. Since the French are largely Roman Catholic, they celebrate religious holidays quite vigorously. One of them is Easter Sunday. During this annual holiday, Paris has all sorts of Easter Sunday traditions. They include serving lamb, enjoying a long weekend, and more!
Go to Church
Although Easter Sunday has become this heavily commercialized holiday where a giant bunny hops around hiding chocolate-filled eggs everywhere, it's still a religious holiday. And for a Roman Catholic country like France, it's a national holiday that requires reverence. For the most part, many locals hear mass in the early morning of Easter Sunday. Some would even continue praying when they've gotten home too. It's the day when Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, making for a celebratory holiday where prayer and partying go hand-in-hand. It's important not to forget the true meaning of Easter Sunday.
Relax During A Long Weekend
Speaking of national holidays in France
, Easter Monday comes after Easter Sunday. Unlike the latter, there's no religious context for Easter Monday. It's simply a free day held after the end of Lent where friends and family get to enjoy another say of spending time with each other. Banks, schools, and government offices are closed and no one has to work or study. Instead, many go visit tourist attractions, eat out, play in the park, and more. For the most part, since a lot of the celebrations happened on Easter Sunday, Easter Monday is more of a rest day instead.
You'd be surprised that the Easter Bunny isn't the most important woodland critter in France on Easter Sunday. It's actually the lamb! Here in France, lamb is the go-to main course for a traditional Easter Sunday feast. The lamb is the symbol of spring and of new life, alluding to the newly-risen Christ who, incidentally, is often referred to as a 'lamb' in the Bible. On Easter Sunday, the French indulge in all sorts of lamb-induced meals, including lamb chops, roasted lamb with potatoes, and more. They're often paired with wine, a drink that also has its own Biblical meaning.
Enjoy Easter Chocolates
While eating lamb is the main course, what about dessert? Do the French have a certain treat they commonly enjoy on Easter Sunday? Well, there are chocolates! Though indulging in chocolate isn't technically an Easter tradition in France, it's become the norm because of how commercialized the holiday has become over the years. It's simply common to give out and eat chocolates on Easter Sunday, with kids even hunting for eggs filled with the treat as a sort of game. And since the French love chocolates
and sweets, it's not surprising that they've adopted this practice as a new tradition.
Hunting for Easter Eggs
Over the years, eating, painting, hiding, and hunting for eggs have become popular French traditions for Easter. But why? Why did the egg become somewhat of a symbol for this holiday? Well, there are actually many theories behind it. One is that Mary Magdalene was side to have brought cooked white eggs when she visited the tomb of Christ on that early Sunday morning. And when she saw the risen Christ, the white eggs turned red. Another and more plausible theory is that the Catholic Church forbade its followers to eat eggs during Lent. Only on Easter Sunday, the final day of the Lenten Season, did the church allow people to eat them again.
Listen to The Flying Easter Bells
As already mentioned, the French never really adopted the Easter Bunny as an official mascot for Easter Sunday. They recognize its commercial appeal, sure, but in terms of how they celebrate Easter in France, the furry critter barely has any relevance. With that said, what the French do look forward to on Easter Sunday, however, is the ringing of the Easter Bells. The tradition goes that from Maundy Thursday up until the wee hours of Easter Sunday, all church bells in France remain silent to mourn the death of Christ. Legend has it that during this time, all the bells 'fly
' to Rome to receive the Pope's blessing and come back right in time to start ringing again on Easter Sunday
If you're in France during Easter Sunday, wouldn't you want to celebrate the holiday the way they do? Especially since there are many Easter Sunday traditions in France that are unique, highly fascinating, and even delicious!