Being a Roman Catholic country, France considers Easter as one of the most important holidays of the year. Easter-related celebrations in France generally start a few weeks before the actual Easter Sunday. These pre-Easter celebrations include the Mardi Gras, Ash Wednesday, Holy Thursday and Good Friday.
The traditional French Easter celebration is a family affair complete with big meals, Easter eggs, a trip to Mass and daytime outings. The Easter eggs also led to the presence of egg dishes like omelets and quiches in many food offerings every Easter Sunday. Eggs symbolize the return to feasting and richer foods after weeks of fasting for the Lenten Season.
Roasted or skewered lamb is used in many Easter meals in France. Popular lamb dishes for the French include “gigot d’agneau” (leg of lamb) and “les brochettes d’agneau” (skwered lamb). Many households also prepare lamb stew locally called the “navarin.”
Food offerings for the sweet-toothed are traditionally parts of French Easter celebrations. When the bells on churches are heard at Easter time, people celebrate with chocolates, tarts, cakes and other confectionery treats.