Unlike home today isn’t a bank holiday in France, however, the shops here have still been stacking their shelves since February with Easter eggs and the chocolate shops look amazing, some too good to eat.
One of the main French Easter traditions is the Easter bells or Les cloches de Pâques. On Maundy Thursday, the Thursday before Easter, church bells across France are silenced to mourn the death of Christ and they remain silent until Easter Sunday.
According to legend, the children are told the story of how the bells fly off to Rome to be blessed, but when they return and start ringing out on Easter Sunday, the bells bring chocolate for all the children, hence why we see lots of chocolate bells in the shops and of course, there’s the customary famous chocolate bunny, sporting a little red collar and gold bell!!
Another custom that we read about is the Giant omelette of Bessières.
The tradition dates back to Napoleon’s visit to the town and he was served a delicious omelette before he went to bed. He thought it was so good that he ordered a huge one to be made for his army to eat before they left the next morning.
A steel fry pan four metres in diameter and weighing a ton is installed with a crane onto a bed of hot coals. The handle of the frying pan is simply a wooden pole.
An impressive 15,000 eggs along with 25 litres of oil, six kilos of seasoning, dozens of bunches of chives, hand-chopped, and, of course, some of the famous Espelette chilli pepper, once cooked is served to the locals and visitors on Easter Monday.
Has the saying goes you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs and I’m sure this Giant Omelette must look egg-squisite.
Happy Easter everyone