History of the Easter Egg, Easter Bunny & Chocolate

The ancient historical meaning of the Easter egg is the symbolism of new life. The Easter egg is believed to have originated in America in the 1700’s with German immigrants settling in Pennsylvania transporting their tradition of an egg laying hare called “Osterhase”, now more commonly known as the “Easter Bunny”. The German children would often construct nests in which the hare could lay its coloured eggs. Christianity, however, uses the Easter egg to resemble Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection with the eggs often dyed red to represent Jesus’ blood. Other sources suggest that the tradition of decorating Easter eggs dates back to the early 13th century with some people believing eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season. Therefore, people would paint and decorate eggs to signify the end of the period of fasting, then eat them on Easter to celebrate.

The more commonly accepted chocolate Easter egg is a sweet treat introduced by the Europeans in the early 19th century as a marketing tool. The Americans consume the most Easter sweets each year spending $1.6 billion each year. Chocolate has been historically appreciated beginning in Mesoamerica in 350BC with cacao seeds being used to produce fermented beverages. The Aztecs considered the seeds to be a gift from Quetzalcoatl, the god of wisdom with the seeds being used as a form of currency because of their extreme value and importance. The chocolate commonly seen on the grocery store shelves was founded by Joseph Fry in 1847 by adding melted cacao butter with Dutch Cocoa to produce a chocolate bar. Furthermore, that sparked the evolution of a small business named Cadbury in England.
Written by Kaleb Wilden
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