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Forks, Portland, Lyon - France, Paris - France, Portland and ending up in Bellingham.... the adventures of my life!

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Monday, April 25, 2011

What-What: Paques

Ahh, easter.  When I was a kiddo in Forks, my grandmother would always have the most elaborate easter baskets prepared.  I'd find trails of jelly beans leading around the house and she would claim, "Well, Easter Bunnies certainly don't poop normal poop!"  It was always a pleasure going to the church (back when I was a Catholic) and hunting for eggs.  Coloring the eggs.  It's one of those happy memories that you hold in the back of your mind, and when it rolls around you almost expect that bushel of chocolate- step in France and her differences.

Easter, or paques as known in French, has a long history integrated with religion, the actual celebration is a bit different.  Instead of the 'Easter Bunny' there is the concept of a giant bell, or la cloche, that flies free and delivers morcels of chocolately goodness to children.

Apparently this tradition started as early as VII century, as the church would not ring the bells during the three days of paques- namely Good Friday through to Sunday.  Apparently during that century people kept claiming to see floating bells around- my opinion is they were getting a bit too happy with communion.

In all cases, there's not giant walking Easter Bunny- just a floating bell.

Egg hunting?  That definitely exists, but it's there we earn our chocolate- there are no lovely corporate baskets made up to lay at the food of the child's bed- instead the parents hide chocolate eggs and treats around their garden and the children 'fait la chasse' and gather up their goodies- a sort of like a working Halloween.

Typical food for paques:  just like my Grandma used to make- roasted lamb shank and a pot of lima beans.  It's quite delicious and it's the idea that we 'break lent' and return back to our normal lives.

The best part of Easter in France?  Monday is a holiday- thus we always get Monday off after Easter weekend.. just so we can continue relaxing and enjoying life of course.. which is how I had any time to write today.

I hope your Easter was great.. and for those in the States:  Sorry you have to work!


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