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  • Writer's pictureParisian Niche

The Easter Bells of Paris...

It's nearly Easter time and we're eagerly awaiting the Easter Bunny to bring us lots of yummy goodies to celebrate! Wait, what? France does not have the Easter Bunny? But, how...HOW do they get delicious chocolates and treats delivered to them to celebrate?! Welp, let's take a P'Niche peek to learn more about Les cloches de Pâques - Easter Bells...


Easter (Pâques) is the most important holiday in Christianity - celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ. (Oh and if you are in Paris and hoping to celebrate, don't forget to check out our handy Guide to Mass in French).


And a reminder, that in France (celebrated March 31st in 2024 - ever moving as it is a lunar fete, centered around the Spring equinox), Easter is not a public holiday - but the Monday after is - now you know!



Annually, we acknowledge the symbolic Passion and crucifixion of Christ, on Holy Thursday and Good Friday during Semaine Sainte (Holy Week). To add to that, we all know that the Crown of Thorns lives in Paris (and will soon return to Notre Dame). To learn more on this Crown, P'Niche recommends Claudine Hemingway's deep, thorough research - found in this post about Saint Louis and the Crown of Thorns.



On Good Friday, the day where we mark Christ's crucifixion, church bells all over the world fall silent in grief and reverence.


This is most often noted to show the world the absence of music, of joy. One might go so far as to say - the absence of God from humankind. And so, we wait in silence, hopeful for the triumphant return.



During this grieving period, the church bells of France, also in mourning and wait, decide to sprout wings (and to dress up with a charming ribbon) and to fly off to Rome (The Vatican) for a papal blessing and to silently lie in wait...


Naturally, they have enough time that weekend to visit the finest chocolatiers in Italy (as one does) and to stuff their bell-bags with as many yummy treats as they can manage...



What kinds of treats do they grab? So glad you asked, P'Nicher!


The bells pick up the traditional symbols of Easter - bells, hens, and eggs (which many feel represents the boulder on the tomb of Christ). Given that Easter this year falls so close to Poisson d'Avril, P'Niche imagines they will grab a few chocolate fish as well...



After a blessing and mini break in Italy, the bells are sent back to France (at the close of the Saturday evening Easter Vigil - when Lent has officially ended). The Bells have work to do before Easter morning!


As they spread the news of the Resurrection from church bell tower to church bell tower - bells across the country begin to herald the triumphant news of Christ's resurrection - loudly ringing out across the land in a joyful reverberation of sound. Silence no more, let the bells ring - for the Lord is Risen!


Wonderful and Amen!


But... But - what about the chocolate??


Come on now - you didn't think P'Niche would leave you hanging like that with no treats - did you? You know better than that!



Discarding their sugary weight as they fly back to France, the bells drop their delicious goods all over the country.


Traditionally, someone will announce "les cloches sont passés" (the bells have passed) and children will run and search out the chocolates (and often, hand painted eggs, etc.) in celebration before joining a larger family/friend meal.



In Paris this Easter and need treats? Yay! You know P'Niche takes chocolate very seriously...


Debauve & Gallais

30, rue des Saints-Pères (75007)

Métro: Saint-Germain-des-Prés (Line 4)


La Maison du Chocolat

8, bd de la Madeleine (75008)

Métro: Madeleine (Lines 8, 12, 14)


À la Mère de Famille (many locations)

Flagship: 82, rue Montorgeuil

Métro: Sentier (Line 3)


PLAQ Chocolatier

4, rue du Nil (75002) *

Métro: Sentier (Line 3)


* In fact, we will describe rue de Nil in next week's post, so we hope you will subscribe to join us back here in the Parisian Niche...


So - are you ready to celebrate with the Easter Bells in Paris, P'Nicher? Let us know in the comments below et à bientôt!



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Debra Borchert
Debra Borchert
Mar 27

Flying bells seem so much more magical than bunnies. Thank you again for the lovely insight into French culture. Joyeuses Paques

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chrissy
Mar 27
Replying to

I have to admit, I rather agree and would love to see some magical bells in action! Joyeuses Pâques!

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