Christian Easter is a religious holiday in honor of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus was crucified on Friday and rose from the dead on the third day.
In France, since 1886, the “post-Easter” Monday is a public holiday. In eastern France, the Friday before Easter (the day Jesus died) is also a non-working day.
The main Easter treat for children is chocolate eggs. This tradition originated many centuries ago, in Europe in the 12-13 centuries, but then mostly used chicken or goose eggs, chocolates in the form of eggs appeared later, in the 18th century. By the way, it was in France that they came up with the idea of pouring a chocolate glaze over an egg.
According to Christian custom, the bells are silent for three days, after Holy Thursday, as a sign of mourning. The bells were believed to go on a three-day journey to Rome to receive blessings from the Pope. After Easter Mass, when the first bell tolls sounded, the children ran to the gardens to collect the painted eggs generously scattered by the clergy.
The fact is that during Lent it was not recommended to eat eggs. And since Lent lasts 40 days, there were a lot of eggs accumulated during that time. That’s why people came up with the idea of decorating eggs.
In France, kids think that eggs are brought by the Easter Bunny. In Switzerland, for example, this role is performed by a stork. In some regions of Germany, a fox acts instead of a rabbit.
The egg is a symbol of birth and rebirth, a symbol of new life. Both chickens and rabbits are known for their fertility. That is why they are the constant attribute of Easter.
In the 17th century, Louis XIV organized a competition for painted eggs. I personally selected the most beautiful ones. And the owner was generously rewarded. It was the Sun King who came up with the idea of decorating eggs with gold leaf, and also pushed the jewelers to the idea of a surprise inside the egg. The most common surprise in those days was the Cupid figurine.
The main dishes of the “Easter” table in France are roast lamb, which symbolizes the Lamb of God, chicken eggs and chocolate. In addition to traditional egg-shaped decorations and sweets, candy, cookies and bell-shaped toys are also commonly used.
It is worth noting that the famous Easter Island with its mysterious statues is named after the day the Dutch navigator Jacob Roggeven landed there for the first time. It happened on Easter Sunday in 1722.