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French Easter Traditions

Easter is one of the main religious celebrations in France after Christmas.  Easter marks the resurrection of Christ and the end of the 40 days of lent so this is an important Christian religious festival.
In France, Easter Monday is a public holiday.  Easter is called ‘Pâques’ with a capital ‘P’ and an ‘s’ at the end.  This comes from the Latin word ‘Pascua’ which means food.  French people wish each other “Joyeuses Pâques”.
Easter traditions in France include chocolate, bells, eggs, rabbits, chicken and lamb!
French people traditionally eat lamb at Easter, the most traditional dish is a leg of lamb cooked in the oven with provençal herbs, cumin, garlic and olive oil.  The lamb is usually served with potatoes cooked in the oven, green beans or flageolet beans.    French people nowadays still often eat lamb at Easter but often a variety of cuts and dishes.  Since asparagus comes into season around Easter, this is a common starter or side dish.  And of course, the lamb is accompanied by a good bottle of red wine.  Certain areas of France also have their own special traditions, for example in Alsace they eat “Lamalas de Pâques”, a cake cooked in the shape of a lamb covered in icing sugar.
So why are eggs a symbol of Easter?  Persians, Egyptians and Romans offered decorated eggs to celebrate the start of spring.  In the 15th Century, catholics weren’t allowed to eat eggs during lent so egg stocks were decorated to give or sell at Easter or afterwards.
Children take place in an Easter egg hunt (Chasse aux Oeufs) organized by parents or sometimes clubs or local communes.  Chocolate and/or decorated eggs are hidden in the garden or park, then children go and hunt for the hidden eggs.  The Easter bunny isn’t historically a French tradition, but this is becoming a tradition especially in the north of the country, but chocolate shaped like eggs and bells is more common.

French Traditions and Stereotypes

Croissants: do French people eat croissants for breakfast every day? No! Most French people eat breakfast at home so don’t eat fresh croissants from the ‘boulangerie’ on a daily basis.  Croissants and pain au chocolat are popular on more relaxed days for example at weekends or on holiday.  Many people…

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  • February 12th, 2021

French Bank Holidays

The French are well known for having more bank holidays than many other countries!  So how many do they actually have, what are they and how do bank holidays work in France…..?   French call bank holidays ‘fériés’ or ‘jours fériés’ and in France (unlike in the UK for example),…

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French Lessons paid for by the French government

If you have been put on furlough (chômage/activité partielle), then the French government are offering to finance your French lessons.  Most sectors including mountain and tourism businesses have their training fees paid 100%. What about Business Owners and Auto-Entrepreneurs? Business owners and auto-entrepreneurs can also quality for training budgets to…

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  • February 5th, 2021

French Traditions: Mardi Gras

Are you ready to get dressed up or eat pancakes?  Lots of French people and people around the world celebrate Mardi Gras. But how did the name come about and what are the origins of and traditions around Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras was originally a religious festival.  It takes place…

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All courses available either in person or via Skype or Telephone.  Please contact us for more information

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