Easter in Paris.

This year Easter is different. It comes very early, on March 27. DST is on, so we have to remember to spring forward – move our watches and clocks one hour forward at night. NOT necessarily at 2 am 🙂 One can do it before going to sleep, and then try not to forget about it on Sunday morning! Good Friday is a normal weekday, working day. I read an announcement at a local Franprix store: it’s open till 23, which is 11 pm; if one buys foods for more than 30 euros, they give you a 5 euro bonus. That’s nice. Not that we are going to buy so much food, but still. On Friday, one can go to Notre Dame to see the sacred relics. One has to be sure to find the correct queue and entrance. There is the usual very long line of tourists who wish to see the inside, to climb on top to touch the bell which Quasimodo used to ring (at least that’s what Victor Hugo told us), to snap pictures of the gargoyles. And there is another line, for those who observe Easter and want to see the relics.

Saturday is just a day off as usual, same as Sunday. Traditionally in France, families get together for lunch; Easter seems to be even more of a family day even than Christmas. There is not special menu, though chocolate in all shapes and sizes is considered a must. In any shop one can see elaborate chocolate concoctions and nicely packaged chocolate eggs, hens, Easter bunnies, and fish. Fish are actually an April 1, All Fool’s Day tradition; they joined the usual Easter chocolate treats for some obscure reasons lost in the mists of the preceding centuries.

Goods shops are closed by law on Sundays; many food stores are open. Souvenir stalls and boutiques follow their own rules. Monday is a day off, a public holiday. Everything may be closed. Museums are unpredictable. The weather is usually nice and warm. This time is considered to be very crowded!

My favorite tulip poplars, or that’s the name I know those lovely trees from New York days, are already in bloom, as well as many other plants. One can see the tender tiny green leaves like a fine mist all around the parks and boulevards.

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