Why Do People Eat Chocolate At Easter?
Easter is one of those rare times in a year where you can eat as much chocolate as you can without the fear of friends giving you that judgy, sideways glance. Learn about the history of Chocolate Easter Eggs. Where did the heavenly idea of chocolate Easter bunnies and Easter eggs even come from? Let's find out!
Chocolate Easter Eggs
As Easter approaches, you'll see friends and family getting their hands on tons of delicious Easter eggs and other good stuff. But while you take your time peeling and wolfing down a Cadbury's Crème Eggs, have you ever wondered why we eat chocolate over Easter in the first place?
Grab yourself some sweet Easter goodies, and let's get into the history of it all!
Jesus, Bunnies, and Eggs
Easter is, first and foremost, a celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus on the 3rd day after his crucifixion. As Christians believe, Jesus Christ was crucified on Good Friday and returned to life on Resurrection Sunday.
So, where do the eggs fit in?
Various civilizations such as the Romans, Greeks, and Persians had always celebrated the renewal of the seasons and arrival of spring with eggs – long before Christianity became a religion. Eggs have also been a symbol of rebirth and fertility for devout Christians.
The Easter eggs or Paschal eggs also symbolize the empty tomb from which Jesus resurrected. The hard shell represents the egg, and the emerging chick represents Christ.
The Easter bunny and Easter eggs are fairly modern traditions. In the old days, Christians mostly used to spend time at church in celebration of Jesus's life.
Interestingly enough, the church's eating eggs was not allowed during the Holy Week (the week leading up to Easter) in ancient times. So, any eggs laid during those 7 days were collected and decorated. These "Holy Week eggs" were then gifted to children.
This has now turned into the tradition that many people across the world enjoy today.
Okay, but what about the chocolate?
Chocolate Easter Eggs
It's unclear exactly why and when the chocolate Easter Eggs appeared, but we know that they first came into circulation in the 19th century in Germany and France. But in those days, chocolate was not as good as it is today. Those solid chocolate eggs tasted bitter, coarse, and grainy.
But in 1866, Cadbury came and forever changed the chocolate game. The company invented a revolutionary chocolate-making technique that gave us the silky-smooth chocolate as we know it today. Cadbury is the one you have to thank for those delicious, hollow chocolate eggs that first entered the market in 1875.
Cadbury Chocolate Eggs
When Cadbury introduced the goodness of milk chocolate eggs in 1905, chocolate-lovers lost their minds!
Don't forget about the Easter Bunny!
Aah, the mythical creature that lays eggs and then decorates and hides them for children to find (They are totally real!).
The story of the Easter Bunny or Oster Haws started making rounds in the 19th century. Since rabbits generally give birth to a litter of baby-bunnies, they were also considered a symbol of new life. So,
Baby Bunnies = New life = Resurrection of Jesus Christ (and Mel Gibson's new resurrection movie will be amazing – a movie with actual substance!). Get it?
And eventually, the fictional bunny Oster Haws was born. Haws is, as many children are led to believe, a magical bunny that delivers presents. As the tradition goes, kids have to build small nests where the grown-ups place decorated eggs…that were allegedly laid by Oster Haws.
Easter Eggs as Gifts
Hundreds of years ago, the Easter eggs were duck or hen eggs that people used to decorate in dazzling colors with charcoal and vegetable dye. Today, many cultures, including orthodox Christians take their egg-decorating very seriously, with artistic patterns made from food-coloring, flowers, sequins, and what-not.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, people used to give egg-shaped toys to children at Easter. The Victorians were known for gifting cardboard-made eggs that were filled with Easter chocolates.
And of course, there were the Faberge eggs! These incredible jeweled eggs were created by Peter Carl Faberge sometime during the 19th century for the Russian Imperial Family. These extravagant eggs were originally designed as holiday gifts and were handcrafted using diamonds, gold, pearls, emeralds, and several other semi-precious stones.
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