In France, just as in the United States, Easter symbolizes the hope of Spring to many people. The flowers are blooming by this time, the snow has melted, and, on Easter Sunday, children can be seen running about the fresh grass searching for Easter eggs. The tradition of the egg and easter in France is a very unique one, and is but one of the many Easter traditions of France.
The Easter Egg in France can be traced back to the 4th century A.D. According to French Catholics, on Good Friday, all the church bells in France fly to the Vatican in Rome with the grief of those who mourn Jesus’s crucifixion. The flying bells then return on Easter Sunday morning and bring with them lots of chocolate and eggs! When children hear the ringing of the bells on Easter Sunday they know that the bells have returned and it is time to hunt for the eggs. Large, ornate chocolate bells can be found throughout many chocolate shops in France.
Another of the Easter traditions in France is the contest of rolling a raw egg down a hill. The egg that makes it down the hill first, without being harmed, symbolizes the stone being rolled away from Christ’s tomb; this egg is considered the “victory egg.” Another tradition in France occurs on the grounds of Chateau Vaux Le Vicomte in Maincy, France, where one of the largest Easter egg hunts in the world takes place. On Easter Sunday and Monday this castle hosts an egg hunt, but it’s not just for the kids; they have a separate one for the adults too. In total, more than 35,000 eggs are hidden for the big egg hunt.
Come and join one of our cooking classes or vacations in France and relish the joys of Spring while cooking traditional Easter dishes and learning about the Easter traditions of France. Or, participate in a pastry class and learn how to create ornate chocolate eggs that are almost too beautiful to eat… almost!
By Kerry Herbst
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