Saturday, 23 April 2011

Easter (le Pâques) and chocolate in France

Like all church bells in France, the bells in the ancient minster that overlooks My French Folly, were silenced on Thursday, in acknowledgement of Christ’s death.

The bells' stillness cast an eerie silence over the village, but this interruption to the daily rhythm is short-lived.

Tomorrow, Easter Sunday, their dulcet tones will be heard once more declaring that “Christ has risen”.

A quaint tale is told to children to explain this practice during the Easter period - "the bell’s chimes have flown to Rome to visit the Pope and will return on Easter Sunday".
The significance of this Easter ritual has resulted in the French exchanging chocolate bells, cloche volant, as well as traditional Easter eggs, les oeufs de Pâques, which are often hidden for children to find.

Chocolate fish, Poisson D'Avril also appear in April. Fish signify an “April fool” consequently chocolate fish first appear on April Fool’s day. For a number of centuries, children have attempted to pin a paper fish on the backs of adults on April the first. If they succeed they call out "Poisson d'Avril" (April fish) as they flee their target.

Easter is a time for reflection, renewal and hope.........

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