The 2014/15 ski season might be drawing a close, but with a few weeks of guests still to come Courchevel is showing no signs of slowing down. We are all eagerly anticipating approximately 50cm of snow this week, to freshen up the slopes so that the skiing will last right through until the final week. Also, as Courchevel has easy access to Val Thorens, the highest skiing resort in Europe, our guests can be sure of fantastic skiing and good snow right up until the end of April.
However, spring skiing holidays aren’t just about the action on the slopes. We have just had a huge influx of families, marking the start of the school holidays and are looking forward to Easter next week (known as “Pâques” in French).
On Saturday Courchevel 1850 will be throwing another big “Party on the Piste”. It held these large events for New Year and Russian Christmas, and they always draw the crowds. Children and parents alike can expect music, fireworks and dancing on the snow!
Later on that evening there will be a night time walk through the forests around Courchevel, accompanied by some ‘surprising characters’!!
On the morning of Easter Sunday, there will be an Easter egg hunt around the Courchevel ski area. Chocolate Easter eggs will be hidden in all the gondola lifts in Courchevel, in case you need another excuse to get out skiing straight away!
Of course it is important to remember that Easter isn’t just about chocolate and Easter bunnies. For those wishing to celebrate the religious significance of Easter, Courchevel is organising a large Easter Mass service at the ice rink. There will even be a gospel band to make the festivities extra special!
Guests may notice that France has a few traditions that set it apart from Easter festivities in the UK. They may notice that church bells are not ringing out across the mountains as usual. This is because church bells usually remain silent for three days before Easter as a sign of mourning. The French say that this is because the church bells have flown out of the church towers to go to Rome, where they collect Easter eggs, ready for their return on Easter Sunday.
Visitors to Austria may also notice that the country has some traditions of its own. In Austria the church bells remain silent only until the Saturday before Easter Sunday. On the night of Easter Saturday, many resorts and alpine villages burn large Easter Fires throughout the night. The people from the villages all meet around the fires to sing, drink and dance.
Switzerland has a reputation for the delicious chocolates made by its expert chocolatiers. However, rather than the Easter bunny that is traditional in the UK, in Switzerland the chocolate Easter eggs are said to be delivered by a cuckoo! On Easter Monday, Swiss families often play an egg cracking game. Children challenge the adults in their family to try to break their eggs with a small coin. If the adult fails to do this, the child gets to keep the coin!
As in the UK, families in most alpine villages will have a large meal with their families on Easter Sunday. Lamb is traditionally served, followed by lots of chocolate!
Whether you are planning to visit Courchevel or another alpine resort this Easter, there is sure to be plenty for you to do. See you soon!
Words: Katarina Anthony
Courchevel Resort Representative