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Easter Sunday in France

Easter Sunday in France is a time for many Christians to celebrate Jesus Christ's resurrection. People may attend special church services, eat a festive meal and search for Easter eggs.

Is Easter Sunday a Public Holiday?

Easter Sunday is not a public holiday. It falls on Sunday, April 12, 2020 and most businesses follow regular Sunday opening hours in France.

Easter eggs are a popular among children.

©iStockphoto.com/Lisa Thornberg

What Do People Do?

Many Christians may attend special church services to celebrate Jesus' resurrection on Easter Sunday. Church bells are not rung on the Friday and Saturday before Easter Sunday as a general rule. This is a sign of mourning. However, church bells are rung for a long time and in a celebratory manner curing the church services on Easter Sunday. These are known as the Easter bells.

Many people spend Easter Sunday with family members or friends and eat a festive meal. Roast lamb with spring beans or other freshly harvested vegetables or leaves, brightly colored boiled eggs and omelets are popular. Easter eggs made of chocolate or candy are popular gifts and children are told that Easter hares, rabbits or bells bring the gifts.

Public Life

Public life is generally very quiet on Easter Sunday, as on other Sundays, in France. Post offices, banks, stores and other businesses are closed. Outside of tourist areas, restaurants and cafes may be closed. However, some stores in Paris, as well as at airports, railway stations and along major highways, may be open.

Public transport service schedules vary depending on where one lives and intends to travel. Museums that are normally open on Sunday may be open or closed. Churches may be closed for visitors who do not wish to take part in the services and guided tours may not be available.

Background

Easter Sunday celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection after his crucifixion, according to Christian belief. Jesus' crucifixion is commemorated on Good Friday. These were important events in early Christian history and symbolize central ideas in Christianity. The day after Easter Sunday is Easter Monday and it is a public holiday in France.

Symbols

Spring flowers, lambs, birds' eggs and Easter eggs are symbols of Easter Sunday in France. They are symbolic of nature's rebirth or resurrection after the dark and cold winter period.

Special biscuits known as Osterlammele are eaten in the Alsace region. They are baked in a clay mould and are in the shape of a lamb sitting on the ground. The Osterlammele were traditionally given to children after the church service on Easter Monday. Bakers now sell them and these are often decorated with ribbons and paper banners.

About Easter Sunday in other countries

Read more about Easter Sunday.

Easter Sunday Observances

YearWeekdayDateNameHoliday Type
2015SunApr 5Easter SundayObservance
2016SunMar 27Easter SundayObservance
2017SunApr 16Easter SundayObservance
2018SunApr 1Easter SundayObservance
2019SunApr 21Easter SundayObservance
2020SunApr 12Easter SundayObservance
2021SunApr 4Easter SundayObservance
2022SunApr 17Easter SundayObservance
2023SunApr 9Easter SundayObservance
2024SunMar 31Easter SundayObservance
2025SunApr 20Easter SundayObservance

We diligently research and continuously update our holiday dates and information. If you find a mistake, please let us know.

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