Paques… Easter in France.

Yesterday it was Paques at our house. Paques is the French word for Easter. And just like many American, we too went to church, ate a nice brunch with family and ate chocolate that the Easter Bunny brought us.
Paques is celebrated in France a lot like here in the US. Family reunite for the long week-end ( Friday and Monday is often a holiday). And on Sunday, everyone goes to church and gather for a big lunch. The traditional Easter lunch is very similar to the American one- there will be deviled eggs, charcuterie ( cold cut), seasonal salads, lamb ( a roast, a leg or lamb chops), fresh spring vegetables, cheese, a fabulous dessert with chocolate, coffee, and digestifs ( after drink) . French people will probably buy the cakes instead of making them as Patisserie will have a large array of beautifull cakes with Easter decoration. The main difference between a French dinner and an American one would be the time spent at the table. The average time spent for such a meal would be between 3 and 4 hours. Why?! because dishes keep on coming and because French people like to enjoy their meal, and eat slowly.
The predominant religion in France is Roman-Catholic (90%). Therefore, you will rarely see more than one church in a village or a city unless the city is very large, and needs more than one catholic church. 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. But children are told that the bell’s chimes have flown to Rome to see the Pope and get blessed by the Pope. The bells will ring again on Easter morning at the end of the morning service to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and to declare that is alive again. On their way back from Rome to the steeple, the bells will be dropping chocolate eggs, chocolate bells and chocolate hens so when the children exit the church, they can pick up all the goodies that the bells have left for them 🙂
Easter morning is a happy time for children who cannot wait to hear the sounds of the bells because they know that the bells have left goodies for them to find. They will look for those goodies right in the parking lot of the church, and will hurry home to find what was left there. Sometimes, children will even find little bells that fell and did not make it back. They are just amazed…
Paques at my house, of course, could not be exactly as what I was accustomed to as a child or my poor children would have not understood why their Easter was different than that of their friends. They never got an Easter basket from the bunny, instead the bunny gave them an empty basket and they had to find their goodies outside and in the house that he had left. And it worked!!!!
Yesterday, for the first time, we did not go hunt for eggs. They are too old and they would have probably thought that I was a lunatic, if I had….
Instead we went to church and we gathered with the whole family for an Easter Brunch. We all brought something to eat. I brought deviled eggs, shrimp salad, mini vanilla cupcaked with chocolate frosting, and ice cream cake. On the menu , we had sausages, pork tenderloins, pasta salad, green beans salad, potaoes salad, and lamb stew.
What did you do for Easter, and what did you have to eat?