As Easter Sunday approaches, you might be wondering why we eat certain foods and the history of Easter Eggs is packed with culture.
Hot cross buns are always a good shout but the highest sales by far are for Easter eggs. Chocolate ones mainly, although we have discovered a cheese Easter egg, a chocolate avocado and a few dragon eggs! Each country has different festive traditions, but read on to answer; why do we have Easter eggs?
The tradition of the exchanging of eggs has been in the church since its early days, however they haven’t always been chocolate and commercialised. The earliest eggs decorated were from hens and ducks. Easter egg painting using bright colours made from things like charcoal and vegetable dye, were given to children as gifts. Some people still carry on this tradition, especially in the Orthodox Christian community.
Eggs were originally forbidden during the religious period of lent and therefore by Easter, there was an excess of eggs that had been boiled so that they didn’t spoil. Eggs are also seen as a symbol of resurrection because of the idea that while they lay dormant, there is new life sealed within.
The Victorians were key in switching this up by starting to give cardboard, satin-covered eggs that are filled with gifts instead. We’ve all heard of Fabergé eggs, which are hugely valuable today and safely kept in museums. These incredible egg shapes covered in jewels were originally created for the Russian Czar and Czarina in the 19th century by Carl Fabergé.
The trend of chocolate Easter eggs first started in Europe in the 19th century, with Germany and France being at the front of the innovation curve. Early eggs were solid until the mould technology was available which allowed them to be hollow.
Chocolate variants were first introduced to England in 1873 by J.S. Fry & Sons and not long after, in 1975, Cadbury’s started production. Nowadays you can’t move for chocolate eggs and some really unique ones are on the market this year to differentiate. This article about unique Easter eggs on sale is cool!
Fun fact: The largest Easter egg that was ever recorded was over 25 feet high! It was primarily built out of chocolate and marshmallow, but it also had a steel frame inside to support it.
Have fun on your Easter egg hunts!