In the US on Easter morning my mom would have always brought me a SOLID dark chocolat bunny along with reeses cups, and those really sugary jelly beans that taste like nothing that has every exsited in the natural world. All of this would be a god-send the following week as it was always university finals and the sugar rush certainly got me through a few English papers. But here in Paris a solid chocolat bunny CANNOT be found. However they do give chocolate fish that when you open them they either have mini “baby” chocolate fish in them or hard candies thta are suppose to be “eggs”.
Why a fish? It is a bit obsure where this came from but these fish are symbols of prosperity, the zodiac for the end of winter, of the miracle of Jesus dividing the loaves and fish, and also is a gift that sybolizes the new year that use to begin on the first of April. On story of its origins is that until 1564 the yearly calendar began of the 1st of April and eveyone would exchange gifts. Well when the calendar changed and some people couldn’t rember that it had changed people gave them fake gifts on April first to make fun of them. These fake gifts were mostly food related and since the first of April falls during Lent (France is Catholic) fish was the most appropriate and availiable gift.
So in France April first is called Poisson D’Avril, a time where we play jokes on others. Just like April Fools but minus the whoopie cushions. In France kids try to paste cut-out fish on the backs of all their friends and adults around them.
Two years ago I acted like a child and cut out a little red fish and tried to take photos of it everywhere in Paris and placed it on my friend David’s back eventually.
This year though I had a more “normal” day I suppose. In the morning my fella’ brought me to the Cafe Flore for café and croissants and then we went to the movies. A simple day with no Easter Bunny in sight but wonderful all the same.