How is Easter actually celebrated in our French neighbor? Are there big differences in customs or are they just very subtle?
"Pâques" is the French word for Easter and describes the celebration of the resurrection. With the exception of a few regions such as Alsace, Moselle, Gouadeloupe, French Guiana, Martinique and Réunion, Good Friday is not a public holiday in France. Easter doesn't start here until Sunday, so all restaurants and shops are open on Good Friday. In Perpignan, the Easter procession takes place on Good Friday, as it has for the last 600 years. This is carried out by the Confrerie de la Sanch and is attended annually by many visitors, even from afar, as it is the oldest procession of its kind in southern France. Easter Monday is a public holiday, but there are still some shops open. Church bells don't ring at Easter in France either, because they travel to Rome on Maundy Thursday to get the Pope's blessing. Loaded with sweets that they lose in the gardens of local residents above the villages on their flight home, they come back on Easter Sunday and then ring out again. That's why children in France don't look for the chocolate Easter bunnies known in Germany, but rather for chocolate bells with wings. Hidden among the lost treasures of the bells are sweets in the form of shells and seafood, as well as chocolate Easter eggs. The children are also given small Easter gifts for the feast. Mainly in Alsace-Lorraine you can find painted Easter eggs like here in Germany and know the Easter bunny. There, however, throwing Easter eggs in the air becomes a game: the egg that breaks first becomes the loser of the game.
A specialty that cannot be missed throughout the country is the gigot d'agneau, the French leg of lamb with fresh vegetables and a good local wine. Closely linked is the Easter fish, the Poisson d'Avril, which is only on the French table on April 1st, but is considered a symbol of the Christian festival. On this day it is also a tradition for children to try to attach a paper fish to adults' backs. In general, these are only small differences in details.
So Joyeuses Pâques or simply happy Easter!