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An egg-cellent Easter!

A guide to celebrating Easter in France

Pâques (Easter in French) is a great time to visit France. Of course, Easter is a religious celebration, but it’s also an indication that spring is on the way. If you are going to be in France, then here’s a simple guide to what to expect in terms of traditions and events that will be happening the country over.


  • Bells

    With so many churches all over France, you will definitely come across this tradition. Maundy Thursday you will hear mournful bell ringing, then on Good Friday, when, for once, the bells fall silent to mark the death of Jesus. Parents tell their children that the bells have flown off to Rome to visit the Pope. Then on Easter Sunday, the air is filled with the sound of bells as the country celebrates the Resurrection. The bells have flown back, and are bringing eggs for the children with them. There’s a lot of joy and celebration out in the streets to celebrate the ringing of the bells again.
Poisson d'Avril
  • Poisson d’Avril

  • This tradition is a peculiar one to France! It’s also tied in with April Fools’ Day, where children play tricks on adults by sticking paper fish on their backs and shouting ‘Poisson d’Avril!’ or April Fish! So around this time, you will also find chocolate fish in the shops as well as chocolate eggs and rabbits (and also chocolate bells) – just in case you were wondering!

  • Chocolate

  • Of course, you can’t celebrate Easter without chocolate, and France does this extremely well! The sweet shops   really go to town with their displays for Easter, and you will see masterpieces packed into straw boxes and baskets. Fauchon is one of the best names when it comes to chocolate, their main store in Paris is very famous, but chocolate made by them can be found all over France.

Le Gigot d'Agneau
  • Lamb

  • Easter Monday is a public holiday, and so lots of celebrations take place, including family meals. You will more than likely have lamb in some form to eat if you spend the day with a French family, a popular choice is Le Gigot d'Agneau. However, keeping with the egg theme, there are some regions of France where omelettes also form part of the celebrations.

  • Games

  • You may see children taking part in some games involving eggs, either rolling them down a slope to see whose egg makes it to the bottom whole, or throwing eggs into the air to catch them without breaking. Of course, you may also be able to take part in an Easter egg hunt which will be held all over.

For specific events which take place during the Easter period, some of the best include:

  • Colmar Easter markets

    The markets take place in the two main squares, with stalls and shows, music, food and drink – a real celebration.  
  • Good Friday processions

    Processions of figures in long black robes with peaked hoods proceeded by a figure in red wind through the streets to beating music. This is called the Procession of the Sanch and takes place on Good Friday. Places to see this procession include Perpignan, Collioure and Arles-sur-Tech.  
  • Limoux Carnival

    Takes place in the Languedoc-Roussillon region, it’s the longest running carnival in the world. It actually starts in January, and finishes in spectacular fashion at Easter with lots of music, food and drink and parades

A lot of fun and celebration to be had by everyone, we’re sure you’ll agree! So if you are in France for Easter, have an amazing time, and please get in touch with us to share your experiences and pictures, we’d love to hear and see them!

If you’d like to spend spring in France, then our team can help you plot the perfect holiday to witness the season. Call us on +44 (0)1580 214 010, or send us an email to find out more.

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