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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.

Affordable French & English Summer Language & Activity Camps for local children & teenagers

If you are looking for an alternative to other Morzine holiday clubs for this summer, then read on….. Why are Alpine French School Summer Activity & Language Camps the right fit for your children this summer? The basics: Specially designed for expat children and teenagers living in the Vallée d’Aulps…

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  • April 29th, 2021

Learn French using your CPF: finance your French lessons using your CPF

Did you know that you may have accumulated a personal training credit that you can use towards French lessons for free?  If you want to learn French using your CPF, then read on for more info…. This is called the CPF (compte Personnel de formation) and in order to be…

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  • April 27th, 2021

Fête du Travail 1st May

The Fête du Travail always falls on 1st May and is a bank holiday in France, like in many countries around the world.  This was first celebrated in France in the late 18th century.  In America, the equivalent is Labor Day and this was first celebrated on Tuesday 5th Septembre…

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Looking for English-speaking host families!

We’re excited to let you know that we’re launching a brand new summer experience for kids here in Morzine, a host family programme for French children and teenagers to stay with English speaking families to learn and improve their English!  In a typical year, many French children and teenagers travel…

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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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