Due to the Catholic roots of France, many of their holidays involve Christian beliefs and traditions. Good Friday commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Easter, however, celebrates the resurrection of Jesus three days after he was put in his tomb after he was crucified for preaching that he was the Son of God. His resurrection is believed to be proof that Jesus was truly the Son of God and this is the foundation of Christian beliefs. According to the New Testament, those who believe in Jesus being the Son of God will end up in Heaven once they leave this earthly realm. Jesus’s resurrection is proof of the promise from God that those who believe in Him and follow His teachings will be resurrected from the dead during the Second Coming. Due to the nature of stories being passed down from generation to generation and translations being different based on who the translator is, details of the Easter story differ based on who you talk to about Easter. Details such as who discovered the tomb empty or what happened after that can differ from story to story. However, every story does agree that the tomb was indeed empty and that Jesus’s body was not in there three days after his crucifixion.
Easter Celebrations in France
This celebration used to be called Holy Week and would start a week before with Easter being the last day of the celebration. Many devout Catholics still practice Holy Week, but others celebrate Easter Weekend, which is Good Friday to Easter Monday.
Many of the French people attend a special mass on Easter Sunday, but almost everything will be closed on Easter Monday as most people spend this time with their families. On Easter morning, there is usually an Easter egg hunt for children to participate in, but the eggs are typically made from chocolate instead of being hard-boiled or using plastic eggs.
Chocolate is a big thing during Easter in France and most stores will sell chocolate in the shape of many different animals, such as fish and bunnies. Families also hold special feasts that involve wine, lamb or ham, onion soup, bread, hot cross buns, cheese, and usually a chocolate dessert.
Tips for Traveling to France during Easter
If you are traveling in France during Easter weekend, make sure to check hours of any business or attraction you wish to visit. Most are closed from Good Friday through Easter Monday, as both are national holidays.
Chocolate is the traditional gift to give on Easter, so make sure to gift that if you are looking to give something to your host, a friend, or a family member.