The French Flying Bells
Like in many countries, French children have Easter egg hunts on Easter morning. However another cultural difference is that in France, it's not the Easter bunnies that bring the Easter eggs, it's the "flying bells". The tradition finds its origin in the 7th century, when the Catholic church forbade the ringing of the bells in homage to the death of Christ between Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday. French Catholics believe that on Good Friday, all the church bells in France fly to the Vatican in Rome, carrying with them the grief of those who mourn Jesus' crucifixion on that day. These flying bells return on Easter Sunday morning and bring with them lots of chocolate and eggs (no sure why!). In France, we also eat a lot of chocolate fish at Easter time, called 'friture de paques'.
How I like to celebrate Easter in Australia
I've lived in Australia for nearly 5 years and what I love about Easter here is the HOT CROSS BUNS indeed! This spiced yet sweet little bun marked with a cross on the top is traditionally eaten on Good Friday in Australia and other anglo-saxons countries like England, New-Zealand and Canada. While France missed out on that one, I'm catching up! Most Australians eat their hot cross buns with butter, jam or other spread, but my favourite are the Bakers Delight chocolate chips hot cross buns. Can you believe that each bun contains over 100 choc chips? That a lot of goodness in a small bun. To be fair, while many people add butter and other delicacies to their hot cross buns, I like mine 'al natural'. I enjoy them on their own with a nice cup of tea.
My second favourite way to celebrate Easter in Australia is to spend time with my Greek friends. Have you tasted anything better than a slow cooked lamb with roasted potatoes?