Spring has officially spring, and with it conjures green grass, lambs, and of course, Easter. It’s only a month away, and if you are planning on visiting France over the holidays, then we’ve put together some suggestions on what to do and where to go to give you a truly French Easter experience.
Visit a chocolate shop – of course, you can’t have Easter without chocolate, but the French really go to town where this sweet treat is concerned. Stroll down any high street, and you will see the most wonderful chocolate shop displays, with a vast array of chocolate rabbits, eggs, fish (yes, chocolate fish, it’s all to do with April Fool’s Day, also known as Poisson d’Avril!) and chicks, all wrapped up and looking very pleasing to the eye! If you are in Paris, then there are a couple you absolutely MUST see, which include Fauchon Madeleine, it’s very famous, and their shopfront is really a sight to see and Jean-Paul Hévin. Delicious!
Go to a church service. Bells play a huge part in Easter celebrations, when they begin with mournful ringing on Maundy Thursday, and then they fall silent on Good Friday. Parents tell their children that they have flown to Rome to visit the Pope. Then on Sunday the air is filled with the sound of ringing bells as they return and the Resurrection is celebrated. It’s amazing to celebrate with the locals, both inside the church with a traditional service, but the celebrations also spill out into the street, and there’s a real carnival feel.
Go on an Easter egg hunt. As here in the UK, there will be hundreds of local Easter Egg hunts organised in villages and towns the country over. However, the Eiffel Tower usually organises an Easter Egg Hunt at the foot, where 20,000 eggs are hidden and families can pick up a ticket to permit them to hunt the eggs, and all proceeds go to charity. About an hour’s drive from Paris, Vaux Le Vicomte hols the biggest egg hunt in the whole of France, where 35,000 eggs will be hidden in the magnificent gardens there. You’re bound to find at least one!
Eat an omelette. Not chocolate eggs, but still eggs all the same, in the town of Bessieree, a 15,000 egg omelette is cooked by around 40 chefs, and eaten by around 10,000 people. The tradition came from when Napoleon once stayed near the town and ordered all the eggs to be gathered to make into an omelette for his army to eat.
Visit an Easter parade. Many towns and cities host parades throughout the Easter period, either re-enacting the Crucifixion or the Resurrection. One such example is in Corsica, where a hooded and chained figure is led through the whole town, as part of a candlelit procession meant to represent the Crucifixion.
Take part in some Easter games. Slightly different to an Easter egg hunt, there are many games which the French play with actual real eggs! Some involve rolling eggs down a hill (think the French version of the English cheese rolling!) or games where eggs are tossed between children, and the winner is the one left without egg on their face at the end!
And of course, as we mentioned, Easter means spring, and so this is a wonderful time to visit France and see all the flowers beginning to blossom, lambs in the fields and warm spring days to enjoy all the growing nature. And what better way to enjoy this, than on a walking and cycling tour! So if you are thinking of travelling to France around Easter time, then why not combine some of the celebrations listed above with a gentle, relaxing holiday at one of the most picturesque times of the year.
Our team will help you arrange the perfect trip.
And Joyeuses Pâques!
Main article images:
Giant Omlette Festival - Travel channel