French Easter (Pâques) Traditions

French Easter TraditionsEaster is celebrated in France much as it is in America, with various religious ceremonies commemorating the rebirth of Jesus, and cultural customs having to do with rabbits, chocolates and eggs.

The predominant religion in France is Roman-Catholic (90%).  No city, village or town is without a church.  Many of them date back to the twelfth century or before. Most churches have a bell, which is rung joyfully throughout the year marking various events and the passage of time.  On the Thursday before Good Friday, all church bells in France are silenced in acknowledgement of Jesus' death.  In fun, children are told that the bell's chimes have flown to Rome to see the Pope. Easter morning, the bells ring out once again in celebration of the Resurrection, declaring that Jesus is alive again.  In some villages, people kiss and embrace one another when they hear the bells ring.

French Easter TraditionsEaster morning is a happy time for children who wake to look for colorfully decorated Easter eggs (les oeufs de Pâques) hidden in their gardens, homes and playgrounds.  Parents tell their children the eggs were brought from Rome (where the chimes had gone), and that when the chimes returned they brought the eggs with them.  In some parts of France children look for small chariots full of eggs pulled by white horses.

Unlike Americans, the French allot an extra vacation day for the Easter holiday.  Everyone gets an automatic three-day weekend which they usually use to spend time with family. Schools and universities tend to center the second spring vacation (two weeks for each of them) around Pâques as well.  Easter also marks the start of the "high" season for tourists, and hotel prices rise accordingly. A series of holidays (starting with the three-day Easter weekend) continues into May, with a trio of three-day weekends that month. Oui!

French Confiseries and Chocolatiers

As always, the French take great pride and joy in their food, and no village is without at least one or more confiseries (candy shops).  Easter is the perfect time of year for master chocolatiers to display and celebrate their delectable wares.  Great attention to detail and years of practice result in chocolate eggs that look more like works of art than anything edible!  They are truly beautiful, and many people enjoy strolling the avenues peering into the shop windows as if they are at a museum or art show.

French Easter Fish TraditionPoisson D'Avril (French Easter Fish)

Everyone knows of chocolate rabbits in America, but did you know the French delight in chocolate fish?  Although not directly related to Easter, poisson d'Avril are enjoyed throughout the entire Easter season. These fishy little friends start appearing in shops on April 1st, when children use paper versions to play an April Fools type trick. The 'trick' is to stick a paper fish onto the back of as many adults as possible, then run away yelling, "Poisson d'Avril!" (April fish!).  The tradition is several centuries old.  Some say it evolved from a silly 'fish trick' where one would send an unknowing person to market to buy freshwater fish when it was not in season.  In French culture, food follows season, and even children know when (and when not!) to buy oysters!

Cloche Volant (Chocolate Flying Bells)

As mentioned above, bells play an important role in the French Easter tradition.  Candy shops sell chocolate flying bells alongside Easter eggs and bunnies, in the same way many candy shops in America sell chocolate crucifixes.  These edible bells are another nod the the resurrection of Jesus, a time for celebration, and the end of Lent.

Easter Games

Raw eggs are rolled down a gentle slope.  The surviving egg is declared a victory egg, and symbolizes the stone being rolled away from Jesus' tomb.

Children might play a game of tossing raw eggs in the air.  The first child to drop and break his egg is the loser, and in some versions, must pay a penalty (e.g. give up a piece of his Easter candy to his brothers or sisters).  This is similar to the 'egg and spoon' game we play in America, only in our version the last one to have an egg left is declared the winner, and gets an extra prize!

Do you know of any French Easter traditions not listed here?  If so, please leave a comment and tell us about them.

Joyeuses Paques


i love easter.

i am french my whole family is from france, and i just love to celebrate easter the french way. we eat chocolate fish, and we all sit around a table and say grace in french. i love celebrating it in french so much better than english because i love honoring my french traditions. we make huge meals and eat during the day, dinner inst big in france. I LOVE EASTER EVERYONE! celebrate it the french way

lucky u

u must be lucky
i love it!
ok thanks

hey yall

i came back just to say.....
chocolate easter food, yum yum
thanks again for the info!

I Hope You Have A Really

I Hope You Have A Really Good Easter


heya thankyou so very much, i will have a fantastic easter and i would love to say have a happy easter to you too but , narrrr i dont want to do that, bye for now.

i rove easter

i rove easter


hi your funny and this is cute

easter eggs




that's normal =/

that's normal =/



lol comment spelling fail but

lol comment spelling fail but i agree


Yo i love you guys you my fav i cant live withiout you your ma world i just like to say thankyou!

Easter French

thank you, you were such a great help please tell all your people about how you helped me i have this french project to do and i used your whole site!

hey i like easter:) or bbm

hey i like easter:)

or bbm is 288755DA


I ADDED YOU Babe xxxxxxxxxxxxxx


hey BABE

Questions For French

What do you eat for a meal during Easter France?
What do you drink during Easter in France?

Thanks, Q For A

Thanks for your idiea That

Thanks for your idiea That Really Helped Us

saying grace

How do you say grace before meals in yourfamily? Are there other ways to do this?

whats easter in france about?

whats easter in france about?

people in france are lucky

why why why why why all we do in the uk is eat easter eggs :) :( :P :D


UK has never been known for its "cuisine"!!!

By the way,How do you say

By the way,How do you say Happy Plam's day in French!

easter in france

Originally in France the Monday off was not for everyone. It was to allow the servants and those that worked on Easter a day off to be with their families. The rich had their holiday on Sunday and the poorer class got their holiday a day later.
Like Boxing Day in Britain. The day after Christmas, servants were allowed to box up the leftovers (after making box lunches for their bosses) to take home to their families.

Our daughter who grew up in France now teaches school in the States and each year I must send off chocolate fish to her as soon as they show up in the market. She loves giving them out for April's Fools.

French/US Easter

I am French living in AZ - USA. When I lived in France with my American hubby, my Mother-in-law sent me Easter Egg dye each year so that my children could also enjoy a fun American tradition. :-)


hi you must have a good easter i would love to join you on easter sunday anyway you should enjoy yourself xx

english easter is way better

english easter is way better

flower for easter in france

do u know what they call the easter flower in france?? thanks if u do.

Easter is... totally awesome! I am meant to be doing work at the moment, however, due to our dull subject i am on here! OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO my teacher is seconds from coming over here! happy easter, and i wish you all a very happy easter! Carly!!! xoxoxoxoo


EASTER IS AMAZING!!!!!!!! i love it its an amazing traditional holiday to wake up to in the morning, right now im working on a french project but soon i will be celebrating easter with my family!!!

I think easter is totally

I think easter is totally AWESOME!fun and that Jesus will always be with us all no matter what.

french easter

I am a french student and we are doing a project on the holidays. One requirement was to find easter costumes. I found all the other information I needed except for that so if theres any way to add that in somehow then I think that would be very helpful for future reference.

heyme toim doin a project

me to
im doin a project for school too
this was my primary source of info
im doin one on french easter
thanks for the info


i came here to this site a couple of times as u will see by the past comments i made.
before i was doing a project on french easter foods.
now i am doing one on french christmas food. i was just wondering if you had any websites like this but with christmas foods intead of easter foods.
or if anyone knows a bit about french christmas foods.

French Christmas food

Le Buche de Noel- chocolate yule log with cream filling
oysters on the half shell (raw)
There's plenty more but they're not on the top of my head.


My family comes to my house and we eat fish that was caught while on holidays. We sit around a big wooden table and we say grace. The fire is crackling away in the background and we all have a lovely warm easter. We all buy a bag of choclate eggs and while us 5 kids hide inside the parents hide the eggs in the garden and around our fountain. On go we run in all it's a great festive day.!!!


That sounds really comforting and warm.
Wish i could be there!
What most do you like about French Easter?
Please reply!

i was wondering if u could

i was wondering if u could add any costumes to this i have to do a project on french easter and one of the requirements is costumes so please add this thankyou

We love easter !!!

we love easter its the best time of year apart from christmas.
we are in school at the moment and are trying to find out what
french people do for thier easter and what they eat on the occasion.
could anyone tell us?

E 'n' K

What we do and eat for easter ?

I am french and I can tell you briefly what french people usually do and eat for easter.
Easter is really interesting when you've got children, since the french tradition says that the bells of all the churches go to Roma (italia) from thursday evening before easter till the day of easter (always a sunday). Thus from friday ( the bells go to Roma to ""witness"" Jesus-christ death) till sunday morning you won't hear a single bell ringing (since they are in Roma) ! Then in the night between saturday to sunday, the bells are supposed to come back from Roma to announce the ressurection of Jesus-Christ, and during that night, the bells are supposed to leave some chocolate all along their way back to their church. Thus, on sunday morning, children just go to the backyard to try to find the chocolates that the bells leave them during the night. On this morning many children in France are looking for some chocolates (the shapes of the chocolates are often : eggs, bells, rabbits...) in their garden.
So for easter we do eat a lot of chocolate and people do also eat some meat of sheep(it is a tradition too), it is a day where the family gathered to share good times looking at children trying to find their delicious chocolates .

I hope it helps you ;) it is quite brief but if you need more details ask me, but it really corresponds to what most french people do.

King regards ;)

Here is briefly what people do and eat for easter in France

friend from france

I always love the french accent and would love to visit france one day. I think everything about it is romantic. I just want to have friends in france and know more about the country its people its food. EVERYTHING

friend from france

Just wanted give my name and to say I'm looking forward to your reply.
I would love to come to france and experience your Bastelle day (not sure I spelt it right). I heard its on the 14/07/2008

Bastille day

I am from France, Provence to be exact, and yes Bastille day is celabrated on the 14 of jully. In the south of France it is cebrated with fireworks, bullfights, dancing in the streets. running of the bulls in the streets, picnics in the surrounding pastures where they will let a bull loose and every one runs to get away from the bull. It's a lot of fun but as you can imagine also dangerous.


thanks for the help i

thanks for the help i finnshed the project on time so thanks again!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:) crap my teacher is coming thanks


thank you,
What do french people do on lent?

Thank You that helped me a

Thank You that helped me a lot for my homework!


Thank you i found this site realy healpful

French easter

i too hav a french project on easter and to tell the truth this site was a great help...


I think I posted ealier.
Anywayz, I would like to say thank you for the useful info!
I think I was 'Same Here'......

me toooooooooooooooo

me too
i came back to this site to say thanks alot thats because.....i found it helpful.
thanks again for the info


Thank you so much. I'm doing a project on 6 french festivals, and this was so helpful!!


Hey,What day do you


What day do you celebrate Advent on in France?

Please reply.

Thanks, regards, [bTk] Chopper X11.

hey what do french celebrate

hey what do french celebrate the most.

english easters are

english easters are boring!!!!!!!!! im movin 2 france!!!!!!!

hi im english, but i love

hi im english, but i love the french ! i wish i lived in france and thanks for the useful info on this site as i had a french project thing to do on easter. thanks again :D

English Easter!

Hey peeps, im english n i gotta say, english easters are really boring all we do is eat chocolate, but im not complainin about the chocolate part!!!!! :)

Eastering of eggs

My family is from France with the last name Chevallier. I am not sure if this is a tadition in France or one the just made up over the years, however my family has a big gathering where everyone colors eggs and then you go around the room and you take your egg and someone else takes their, and you let them hit the tip of your egg with the tip of theirs and whosever egg breaks the other person get your egg. At the end there will be a winner. My family has a bunch of cheaters and have used fake eggs that look real, feed their chickens with grain to make the sheels harder for easter and even coated the eggs with a shalack finish. It has been a tradtion for as long as I can remember and I am 40 and years befor that. Has anyone eer heard of this or do this? I would love to know. Lots of fun!!!!! New people that come into the family think we are crazy but a fews years later the are into it to.
Have a Wonderful Easter

The "egg battles" is an

The "egg battles" is an orthodox Christian tradition as far as I know, practised throughout the Balkans at least (in Greece, Serbia etc). I wonder were your familly picked it up?

I am an Orthodox and we do

I am an Orthodox and we do exactly the same thing, even with cheating. I love Easter!

my teacher's a weirdo? maybe

my teacher's a weirdo? maybe you can add some stuff about smells, feelings and texures during easter?? she's asking for them in this assignment. but other than that this site is very helpful. thanks bunches

Easter traditions

I am French... but not the French from France. My ancestors are from Nova Scotia, Canada. I am what is called an Acadian. In south Louisiana of the USA, where many Acadians settled after fleeing Canada, there aroze a tradition of what we call "Paque-ing" eggs. (I realize that Paque means "Easter")

First of all a hat is passed around the room of family and friends. Each person puts an agreed upon designated amount of money in the hat... such as $1.00 or $10.00. The Acadians (Cajuns) boil and dye their eggs and then on Easter everyone takes turns "pahking" their eggs together. One person holds a decorative boiled egg in their fist with the pointed end of the egg showing through his/her fist. Another person takes the point of his/her own egg and taps it against the one in the fist. One of the eggs will crack first and when it does it is eliminated and the winner must then "pahk" another person's egg. The grand winner will win the money in the hat.

i agree completely

i agree completely

French Canadian dish

I need some help! I married into a Greek family. We always have Greek dishes for all holiday's joking, I said to my husbands aunt, that i would bring a french canadian dish this year and she had to eat it. I was joking, I have no idea of French Canadian dishes, or what I would bring. She is now telling everyone and looking forward to it. Any suggestions?

French food.... amazing...I am not from France but I am full blooded, I have several ancestors and family there and I speak French. On Easter the best food to have at dinner time in my family is Quiche, Croissants, Le Bouch de Noel, Nutella on bread, Brie cheese with crackers, Ratatouille, L'ognion soupe, and much more! I definatley reccomend celebrating Easter the French way!

i like choco sausages

i like choco sausages

choco sausages urrr mingin :L

choco sausages urrr mingin :L



Hi folks.

I was left utterly disappointed after reading this page and coming to the realisation of the French kids growing up without an Easter Bunny. This is an absolute outrage, as I was brought up to believe that not the bells brought me eggs, but the beautiful bunny came past my house every night before Easter Sunday with a big basket of chocolate eggs to be shared out between myself and my 3 other siblings. Being an Australian, some of us even believed that it was an Easter Bilby. The idea of having an object that can not move, for it doesn't have legs, bringing children chocolate's from Rome is a strange one. Would the children not realise they were actually eating French chocolate?

xoxo, Gossip Girl.

you luv gossip girl? or are u

you luv gossip girl? or are u gossip girl

Hellooo ! I'm french as well

Hellooo ! I'm french as well =)

We do have a Easter Bunny. This actual tradition is being wiped out by the anglo-saxon tradition ; we still have bells as chocolates, but the fact that they are bringing chocolates from Roma is really disappearing. I didn't know it before I read this article =/

Happy Easter


im french tooo(: btw


r u a french guy?

Nice article, in the north

Nice article, in the north of the country, children are used to visit the neighborhood and ask for chocolate eggs, just like kids do for Halloween in the US or Ireland.

thank you!

thanks this web site has been helpful for my homework!


Thanx SO much for all the tips and advice and stuff! It really helped me with my homework, and I loved reading all the comments! SEEYA! :) xxx



what happens on thursda in

what happens on thursda in french eastrer
from harry :) and joe carter :)

heloo i love easter

heloo i love easter

haha sound loves a bit of

haha sound loves a bit of french <3

Hey, can anybody help me I

Hey, can anybody help me

I have a project on frenc easter food. What are three french easter foods? Plzzz answer

Anyway I LUV easter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Easter is awesome



this is so kewl

France has amazing

France has amazing traditions.Some traditions in french Easter is really new for me.Thanks for sharing.

heyyyy this info was gr8!! so

this info was gr8!!
so thanks again
thanks alot
just wondering
what do the french do on Monday the 6th of July at 12:45 am???????
thanks alot hehe
i love easterrrrr!!:)


hi braav

i <3 chocolate bunnnaaayyysss!!:D

dats wat im talkin bout.


I soooo wish i was from Franceeee. What other objects can be related to easter?


thanks this helps alot!!!


hey dylan and keiren :P

easy bro " )

easter is reyt good!
like chocolate

easter is proper mint init.

easter is proper mint init. but sometimes is used as a exuse for fat people to eat chocolate. but overall easter is reyt good :)


Hey yall cheers fo da info yo trippin fo sho xoxo

i am french, i was born it

i am french, i was born it and i will dye it, i love easter (french version)

Easter is the celebration of

Easter is the celebration of when Jesus came back to life on the third day after his death on the cross - not his rebirth.

I am of Acadian-French decent

I am of Acadian-French decent with relatives in Castlebiaque, France. In Louisiana we have a tradition of Pacques we refer to as Pacque-ing where we hold a hard boiled egg colored in Pacques tradition and tap the small end of our egg to the small end of someone else's egg. I was hoping to find out how others "played" this game as we had several different versions at an office Easter party this morning.
Another family tradition has been to die our eggs using fabric that bleeds, tightly sewn around the egg. When using old silk garments and ties, we've produced some incredible designs.
Joyeaux Pacques!

Easter in France/Paques en France

I have taught French for many years and am retired as of April 1st. I love the country and its wonderful culture. The one thing France still needs to be the near perfect society is a return to its Christian foundation instead of the secularism which reigns there in the midst of its sublime cathedrals...



Thanks for letting me know

Thanks for letting me know what kind of activities that french people do for easter but are there any other kinds of activities?


I am originally from Canada... and growing up as a child we use to get up before the sun rose on Easter morning and go to a brook where the water ran and bring it home before sunrise. It was told that Jesus had walked thru the water and it was holy. We all drank a bit of it... We loved doing that!!

dis isnt very fun

dis isnt very fun




nar it sucks

stop being so silly!!!!

stop being so silly!!!!






I like chocolate and pies




Thanks for this cool information it has been really helpful for a school project '~' thanks again.