Joyeuses Pâques: A French Tapestry of Easter Traditions

Paris bakery shop showcasing its Easter treats.

Paris bakery shop showcasing its Easter treats.  Image: P-Kheawtasang / 

In France, Easter is enjoyed over a three-day weekend, with Easter Sunday (Dimanche de Pâques) and Easter Monday (Lundi de Pâques) celebrated as public holidays.

However, Good Friday (Vendredi Saint) maintains its status as a regular working day, except in Alsace.

Throughout most regions, “les cloches de Pâques” (Easter Bells) rather than Easter Bunnies are revered as the bearers of eggs.

Yet, in Alsace, where German influences prevail, it’s the Easter hare that steals the show, generously gifting chocolate eggs.

French chocolatiers exhibit their expertise in crafting elaborate, oversized chocolate eggs, elevating them to the status of luxurious gifts.

Whilst pâtisseries-chocolateries proudly display their artistry, ensuring their chocolate masterpieces catch the eyes of passers-by.

Across France, the tradition of Easter egg hunts (“chasse aux œufs”) is enjoyed.

Easter feasts serve as a beacon for families to gather, enjoying dishes such as lamb and seasonal vegetables.

While Easter festivities encompass a tapestry of cultural traditions, religious observances hold steadfast, with church services commemorating Easter.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.