At lunch yesterday, one of my coworkers asked me, “Alors? Est-ce que les cloches sont passées chez toi ce week-end?” Like most conversations I have in French with my coworkers, at first I didn’t realize she was talking to me. Oh – right. She asked me about “les cloches.”
My first thought: she remembered that my friends from the States were originally scheduled to come visit me this weekend. Second thought: les cloches? Bells? That doesn’t make sense…why would she call them bells? Wait, it’s not a euphemism for clochards, is it? (That means “hobo” in English…) Is she calling my friends homeless? No, she can’t mean that. Bells must be the right word. But…why would bells come to my apartment?
Mind you, this rabbit trail of thoughts took place within a matter of mere seconds. I had to ask her to clarify: “euhhh…les cloches?”
Yeah. Apparently the bells bring chocolate on Easter morning.
Ohhhh. Right. Of course there are different holiday tales and traditions. Sometimes I forget about that. I replied, “Oh yes, of course. Chocolate!” and explained that I was confused because, in the States, the Easter bunny is the one who brings the Easter goodies.
She didn’t tell me the story behind the bells, but I later found the explanation on Wikipedia:
Church bells are silent as a sign of mourning for one or more days before Easter in The Netherlands, Belgium and France. This has led to an Easter tradition that says the bells fly out of their steeples to go to Rome (explaining their silence), and return on Easter morning bringing both colored eggs and hollow chocolate shaped like eggs or rabbits.
Either way, the Easter bunny and bells didn’t have to come; I already have my sweetheart here with me, and that is a hundred times sweeter than chocolate. :)
In other news…
The weather has been gorgeous the past few days. It feels a lot more like spring!
Tobias and I took a lovely walk around Paris on Monday. The spring weather was just right for this tourist couple’s wedding day – they were taking pictures at all of the popular Paris sites. It was fun to watch a little bit in the park behind Notre Dame.