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Flying Easter Bells

With the majority of French being Roman-Catholic, it's not surprising that even the smallest villages have a church. Most churches have a bell, which is joyfully rung to celebrate important occassions throughout the year.

Cloche Volant or Flying Bells are an important part of the Easter traditions of France.

From about the 12th century, it has been customary to silence the bells on Good Friday in acknowledgment of the death of Jesus.

Legend has it that on Good Friday, the bells of every church in France fly to Rome, carrying with them the grief of those who mourn Jesus' crucifixion on that day. In keeping with the tradition, French church bells do not ring from Good Friday to Easter Sunday morning when the bells are said to return. The sound of the bells on Easter Sunday morning heralds the celebration of the Resurrection, declaring that Jesus is alive again. In some villages, people kiss and embrace each other when they hear the bells ring again.

The Easter bells (les cloches de Pâques) are believed to bring with them Easter eggs, chocolates and other treats. Lolly shops sell chocolate flying bells alongside Easter eggs and bunnies.


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