Sunday, April 8, 2012

Joyueux Paques! Happy Easter!

Joyeux Paques mes amis!!  After 40 days and 40 nights without Nutella, I can now enjoy it again!  I woke up this morning to a croissant that my host family had left for me, and I loaded it up with homemade raspberry jam and of course my favorite chocolate hazelnut spread.  Yum! 

I then got dressed to meet up with one of my Sweet Briar friends to get our Easter on at the American Cathedral in Paris.  I was thinking of going to Sacre Coeur or Notre Dame, but I figured everyone else in Paris (or all the tourists that have been around recently) would have the same bright idea.  So I opted for the Episcopalian Service in English.  I was about to say Bonjour to the people outside the door when walking in, but before I could do so, they said, "Good Morning, Happy Easter!"  It was a bit surprising, but refreshing all the same. 

The American Cathedral in Paris
Thanks for the pic Google!
The service was lovely and it was very comforting to have the same service that I am used to at home here in Paris.  The Right Reverend Bishop Whalon gave a good sermon, complete with jokes and an interesting analysis of the gospel reading.  Very Episcopalian!  My friend and I enjoyed the service and enjoyed looking at the hats some of the women were wearing.  I also saw Harriet Rochefort in the congregation!  For those of you who don't remember, she is the author of French Toast a book on Fanco-American cultural differences.  For more info on that check out this post about her lecture at the JYF Program for the internship participants.  We also saw one of our Sweet Briar program directors!  I guess the American Cathedral is the place to see and be seen in the American Expat community! 
 Inside the Cathedral.  All the state flags are on display!  I couldn't find Pennsylvania though...

 Small confusion with the art settings on my camera, so here's a black and white photo of me with the program, and the 1982 Episcopal Hymnal.  Wahooo Episcopal Church!

Here's a little blurb I wrote for La Cuisine Paris' blog about Easter in France:
With spring just around the corner here in Paris, it’s no surprise to see lots of Easter themed treats appearing in the city of light’s chocolatiers!  France is a predominantly Catholic country, and Easter is celebrated with lots of family and food, bien sûr.  The start of Easter weekend is signaled by the silencing of the church bells on Good Friday to mark Jesus’s death.  According to French folklore, the bells fly to Rome to carry the grief of their parishioners to the Pope.   Then on Easter Sunday morning, the flying bells (Les cloches volantes in French) return to France, dropping off candy and other Easter treats along the way.  Church bells are rung throughout the city to celebrate Jesus’s resurrection.  The only “Easter Bunny” you’ll find in France are in the chocolate shops! 
After mass, the rest of the day is devoted to food and fun.  After an Easter Egg hunt for the children, families will eat food centered around the holiday, spring, and rebirth.  Quiches, omelets and other egg dishes are popular for lunch, and then roast lamb is the traditional Easter Dinner main course.  Of course, it wouldn’t be Easter without lots of chocolate eggs, rabbits, and bells!  Joyeuses Pâques! 
I don't really get the whole "bells carrying candy" thing.  They don't have any hands!! How can they carry candy??  I bet the French think our Easter Bunny is just as weird though.  But at least he can hop from house to house...

And it would not be Easter without a little chocolate....Aunt Nora sent me a package with jelly beans, chocolate covered pretzels, a card, and a beautiful necklace, bracelet, and earring set.  Merci Beaucoup!  I got the egg from my camp friend Alex's parents.  I went to their house for dinner after Versailles on Friday.  Inside the dark chocolate egg was more little chocolates and pralines.  Delicieux! 
I hope all of you have a wonderful Easter or Passover or a lovely spring day! I'll be spending the rest of my day with Ernest Hemingway and my chocolat.....Jouyeux Paques!!


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