Easter is on its way, but there’s one thing you won’t see so often in Paris shop windows – the Easter bunny. The French don’t have an Easter bunny, but they do have “les cloches,” or bells, that play a big role in this fun holiday. Read on to discover some of the Easter Traditions in France.
Easter Traditions in France
Rather than a fluffy rabbit sneaking into a child’s bedroom to leave a candy-filled basket to be discovered upon awakening, it is the church bells that disappear to Rome a week prior to Easter, only to return on Easter morning, flying over the French homes to drop chocolates in the garden (or apartment, as the case may be). On that Sunday morning, when the church bells ring out for Mass, parents tell their children that the bells have returned from Rome. This signals that it is time to hunt for Easter chocolates!
You’d have a difficult time finding cellophane “grass” and marshmallow Peeps in Paris, but you will find “friture” (literally, fried fish), the tiny molded chocolates that are the pride of many a chocolate shop during this time of year. You can buy these small bags of chocolate fish and shell-shapes in increments of 100 grams, in dark, milk or white chocolate, filled with a smooth hazelnut filling or solid chocolate. French people offer “friture” as well as a larger size “poule,” or hen, or “poisson” (fish) to their families on Easter morning. These larger molded chocolate figurines are filled with friture inside and wrapped with a pretty colorful ribbon which holds the candy sculpture together.
So while the notion of an Easter basket doesn’t exist here, there are plenty of lovely Easter candies to be had. The chocolate shops will compete with each other to make the most beautiful eggs, hens or fish using chocolate in all sorts of innovative ways. Stay tuned this week to the Paris Perfect Blog as we’ll be sharing some of the beautiful chocolate discoveries in the shops around Paris as well as what to do for Easter in Paris this year.