Easter 2023: egg hunts and best family outings

EASTER.

Easter 2023: egg hunts and best family outings

EASTER. Sunday April 9, 2023, Easter means family egg hunts in Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Toulouse or Strasbourg... Also discover our selection of the best family outings.

[Updated April 5, 2023 4:11 PM] Easter weekend is fast approaching and egg hunts will delight the whole family! Emblem of life, fertility and rebirth, the egg is omnipresent at every Easter, the date of Christ's resurrection. Whether sugar or chocolate, Easter eggs are a real treat every year. Bakeries, chocolate shops and supermarkets are overflowing with chocolates to offer and especially to find hidden in the gardens, during the traditional Easter egg hunts.

The egg has been a symbol of renewal for millennia. Among the Egyptians or the Romans, it was thus customary to offer an egg, to signify life, at the time of spring. Many egg hunts are organized this Sunday and even on Easter Monday. Paris, Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Toulouse, Strasbourg... A little tour of France of the egg hunts planned for this long Easter weekend.

Beyond egg hunts, at Easter, large parks, zoos or castles open their doors to you. If you take a trip to Alsace, celebrate Easter in the purest tradition in Colmar, with its markets and artisan exhibitions. For those who want to have fun, the Foire du Trône, Europe's largest funfair, is opening its doors in Paris, and if not, why not join in on an escape game with friends? Find all our original ideas below:

Did you know that the egg has been a symbol of renewal for millennia? Among the Egyptians or the Romans, it was thus customary to offer an egg, to signify life, at the time of spring. If from the Middle Ages, the Church forbade the eating of eggs during Lent, they were preserved and decorated at the end of the fast. In the 18th century, eggs were emptied to be filled with chocolate at the end of the Lenten fast. This is how the first chocolate eggs appeared, a tradition that has endured over time with techniques offering various flavors and shapes. Russian and Ukrainian Easter eggs are nowadays true works of art, with incredible patterns and colors, sometimes representing the cross of Christ. They are blessed before being offered to loved ones.

It's time to delight the children, who will be able to make personalized Easter eggs with decorations. Check out our handy Easter egg: how to paint and decorate it? To your brushes!

Between Holy Thursday evening and Easter Sunday, church bells do not ring as a sign of mourning. But it is on the night of Saturday to Easter Sunday that they begin to chime to announce the joy of the resurrection of Christ. According to tradition, children were told that the bells were going to be blessed by the Pope in Rome and that when they returned at Easter they would chime and scatter eggs and bells in the gardens. The tradition of the rabbit comes from eastern France and Germany. The Easter Hare, called Osterhase, is symbolic of fertility and renewal in Germanic pagan tradition. In German-speaking Lorraine and Alsace, it is the Easter hare that scatters eggs in gardens.

Easter Sunday is April 9, 2023, followed by the Easter Monday holiday on April 10. How is the date of Easter scheduled each year? For a long time, Christians celebrated Easter at the same time as Passover, which could fall on a Sunday, Monday or Saturday. Passover is calculated on the lunar calendar (the month begins with the new moon) and falls on Nissan 15, the first month of the year, straddling March and April. But in 325, the Ecumenical Council of Nicaea decided that Easter should henceforth take place on a Sunday, the day of Jesus' resurrection. For this, he establishes a clever calculation known as "Comput". The day of Easter is fixed on the first Sunday after the full moon which follows the first day of spring... Like Ascension or Pentecost, Easter is therefore a movable feast, celebrated between March 22 and April 25. Another difference: for the Orthodox who use the Julian calendar and not the Gregorian calendar, spring arrives on April 3 and not on March 20 or 21. Each year, the Orthodox Easter (which is also used in the singular) is therefore celebrated a few days later.

To fully understand Easter, we must first start from the heritage of Jewish, Christian and also pagan traditions and beliefs. Easter is one of the main Christian holidays today. But it borrows its name from the Jewish holiday, Passover, which takes place at the same time. Two celebrations that do not have the same meaning. In the Jewish religion, Passover is "the feast of feasts". It commemorates the flight from Egypt of the Hebrew people, subjected to slavery at the time of Pharaoh. According to the Bible and the book of Exodus, on Easter day, the Red Sea would have opened to let Moses and the Hebrews pass, pursued by the troops of Pharaoh, thus allowing them to reach the Promised Land of Israel. . Easter therefore marks the birth of the people of Israel and is intended, more broadly, to be a celebration of freedom. In Hebrew, Passover is also called "Pessah" which means passage.

As for Christian Easter, it celebrates the resurrection of Jesus. According to the Gospels, the death and resurrection of Christ take place at the time of the Jewish Passover, which explains why the Christian holiday borrows the same name. For Christians, Easter celebrates the resurrection of Jesus, three days after his death, and the "passage" to eternal life. But Easter, multiple, also commemorates for Christian believers the events preceding the rebirth of Jesus (Last Supper or meal, Passion of Christ designating his arrest and death). It is one of the most important holidays of the year - for the Orthodox, the most important - which spans the whole of Holy Week. Easter is central to the Christian faith.

Holy Week is, for Christians around the world, the week before Easter. Beginning with Palm Sunday, it commemorates the Passion of Christ. Several key dates punctuate Holy Week. After Palm Sunday, which commemorates the day Jesus arrives in Jerusalem, cheered by the crowd, comes Maundy Thursday, three days from Easter Sunday, which celebrates the last meal, the Last Supper, taken by Jesus with his disciples. Then there is Good Friday, which commemorates the day of the crucifixion, a day of fasting for Christians, and Holy Saturday, a day of silence and contemplation, before the Easter Vigil, in the evening, which precedes the celebration of his Resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday is, for Christians around the world, a day of celebration during which all the prohibitions of Lent are lifted and the egg, symbol of life, is omnipresent. For all pagan cultures, the egg seems to have been the emblem of life, fertility and rebirth. Some sources report that the Persians already offered eggs 5,000 years ago as spring approached. It was then the turn of the Gauls and the Romans. These traditions were then assimilated by Christianity. The resurrection of Christ is greeted with joy, so a traditional festive meal is prepared with the ringing of the bells.

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