French citizens have been warned to not travel for this year’s Easter celebration due to the coronavirus lockdown, so many people are planning to participate in traditions at home.
Notre-Dame Cathedral will host a small Good Friday service that will be televised — only seven people will be in attendance. The service will take place just a few days before the one-year anniversary of the devastating fire on April 15. On Sunday, churches across the country will broadcast their Easter Vigil services online.
Easter is typically a big family event in France, but this year everyone will be improvising their celebrations. Chocolate, cakes and lunch feasts may be less extravagant compared to recent years, but people can take some comfort in being able to indulge a bit at home with advance planning.
The very popular egg hunt at Château de Vaux le Vicomte has also been cancelled unfortunately. The event usually attracts families for a variety of activities over the holiday weekend. Hosting an egg hunt at home might not be quite as exciting but certainly is an opportunity for families to be creative.
One tradition that may be more noticeable this year is the ringing of church bells. With less traffic and other noise on the streets, the prominent sound on Easter Sunday will be bells that have been silent this week in honor and remembrance of Jesus Christ being crucified and dying on the cross. This leads to another Easter tradition called the Flying Bells. As a way for parents to explain the absence of bells to children, the story told is that the bells sprouted wings and flew to Rome for a blessing from the Pope who presents them with chocolate bells and eggs. The bells fly home to France on Easter morning to deliver their delicious treats.
French Easter Traditions
Easter Egg Hunt 2020 at the Château de Vaux le Vicomte // Cancelled
Notre-Dame Cathedral to Hold Small Good Friday Service Amid France’s Coronavirus Lockdown
How to have a traditional French Easter during lockdown