It’s Maundy/Holy Thursday, and it’s a big day for Catholic bells in the Netherlands, Belgium, and France. It’s time to spread their wings–and fly!
From Maundy Thursday (or sometimes Holy Saturday) until Easter morning, church bells are silent. Their silence is in solemn observation of the most holy, mournful days of the Christian year, the days leading up to and including Jesus’ crucifixion. The bells joyfully resound again on Easter morning in celebration of his rising from the dead.
But what happens to the bells? Do they just sit up in the towers, biding their time? No! They strap on (or grow?) wings and fly off to Rome to…visit the Pope…or receive a blessing…or get an extra-special polish…? It’s not clear what the bells *do* once they get to Rome, but off they go. And when they return in time for Easter, they drop down chocolate eggs for the local children. So no Easter Bunny here, folks–the bells bring the kids the Easter treats.