Le Pâques/La Pâques

Easter is coming up, so let’s talk a little bit about French customs.

First of all, there are two holidays this time of year – the Christian holiday Easter (which is LE Pâques) and the Jewish holiday of Passover (which is LA Pâques). So this is one of those goofy words where there is both a feminine word and a masculine word, with different meanings.

The holiday weekend will start tomorrow with “le vendredi saint” – Good Friday. All across France the church bells will be silent. The tradition is that they have all flown to Rome, to take the sorrows of the people with them.

When the bells return on Sunday morning, they will bring back with them the Easter eggs – no, there isn’t an Easter Bunny bringing Peeps and baskets filled with jelly beans! Dinner in many French homes will be lamb. And the greeting on Easter is “Joyeuses Pâques.” Even without the Easter Bunny, the French are pretty lucky – the Monday after Easter is a paid holiday, le lundi de Pâques!

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