Celebrating Easter in France
Flying bells, giant omelettes, Easter bunnies and hunting for chocolate. It's all going on in France this Easter. How will you be celebrating?
This year Easter Sunday falls on the 17th April, and since February the shops have been stacking the shelves with chocolates in all shapes and sizes ready for Easter. So even here it seems the commercial side of Easter dominates the celebrations. But there are also some other slightly bizarre, but fun traditions too.
In France, traditionally, chocolate is brought by flying bells, 'les cloches de Pâques', not a giant Easter bunny. During Easter, to commemorate Jesus' death, the church bells are not rung between Good Friday and Easter Sunday. The story told to children is that the bells have flown to Rome, but when they return and start ringing out on Easter Sunday, the bells bring chocolate for all the children (grown ups as well in our house!) So that’s why you’ll find a lot of chocolate bells in the shops – as well as the customary eggs, hens, rabbits and frogs.
Giant omelette of Bessières
The Easter custom to beat all the others though (excuse the pun) is the giant Bessières omelette, prepared and served to the locals and visitors on Easter Monday. I can't find anything to confirm that this will take place this year, but I genuinely hope it does, because it sounds incredible.
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 be made for his army to eat before they left the next morning.
Who does the washing up?
In previous years, crowds have gathered in the main square to watch members of the Giant Omelette Brotherhood of Bessières pour litres of egg yolks into a large pan. It's beaten and stirred with sticks and extra long baguettes. This massive 'eggs-travaganza' uses around 15,000 eggs and is served up to the thousands of people gathered in the town to celebrate this annual tradition. If any of our blog readers live in around or round Bessières in South West France please tell me this is going to take place again this year. It sounds fantastic and I love a good, tasty omelette. I wouldn't want to be the one doing the washing up though - or breaking 15,000 eggs.
The famous chocolate bunny, sporting a little red collar and gold bell, is as popular in France as it is in the UK. I'm sure lots of cats and kittens adore that tiny tinkling bell too. The chocolate shops look amazing and some of the chocolate looks almost too good to eat. In the run-up to Easter you can choose one and decorate your own. I'm not sure what decoration or wording I would want on mine, maybe just 'EAT ME!' But what would you have?
No rest for the wicked
In France, where they generally love a good public holiday, Good Friday is not one of them. It's a normal working day for most people - including us - and we will be up bright and early to deliver a handsome hot tub to its new owners. They will then have a lovely long weekend, when they can test it out and enjoy a blissful soak in the warm bubbles. This year we don't have any time off at Easter because we are delivering every day - Friday to Monday. Let's hope the weather improves by then, although to be honest, it has to be seriously cold and wet to put off most of our Happy Hot Tub owners.
Hunting for Easter eggs
Last, but not least, we can't forget the great Easter Egg hunts. They're as much fun for the adults, hiding treats in the most obscure places, as they are for the kids. Lots of towns and villages arrange them. They look like lots of fun and I sometimes wish my kids were still young enough to take part. Our traditional Easter egg hunt would start inside the house and then head out in the garden (weather permitting). In France lots of lucky children get to hunt for Easter eggs in the grounds of beautiful, old chateaux. So, I really do hope there are a few rays of sunshine.
Generally the long Easter weekend is a great time to start sprucing up the garden for the summer. But with this ever-changing weather, maybe it will be more about planning than doing. So while you are waiting for the good weather to return, why not browse the internet and check out this years garden trends? Or plan a BBQ and get friends and neighbours round for a garden party?
Garden trends are always changing, but one thing that stays the same, year after year, is the desire to own the ultimate garden luxury - a wonderful wood-burning, eco friendly hot tub!
Fortunately for you, because we ordered in advance, ready for the usual Springtime rush, we have several tubs in stock and available for immediate delivery.
All you have to do is choose your favourite - Burford or Glyme - place your order and tell us when and where you want it delivered. Three simple steps to hot tub heaven and you and your loved ones will be happy bunnies this Easter holiday, and all year round.
Come and see us at the Spring Fayre
Planning ahead now, and if you're at a loose end on 30th April why not come and see us at the Château Garnier Spring Fayre in the Vienne, 86350. This beautiful château is on the banks of the Vienne river, surrounded by green Charentais countryside and medieval towns and villages. We won't get much time to explore because we will be setting up at the fair from 6.30am.
'Le Foire de Printemps' is open from 10 am til 6pm, with a refreshments bar, snacks and a children's corner with bouncy castle. There are already over forty stall-holders registered and we will be one of them - exhibiting the Burford Deluxe hot tub and answering all your questions. So I hope you can come and see us.
Fingers-crossed, we will have some glorious April sunshine on the day. Happy Hot Tubbing!