Origin of Easter Symbols
The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; nevertheless, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity’s most important holiday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life.
According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase” or “Oschter Haws.” Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S. and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types Easter gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.
Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection.
Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.
3.Easter Chocolate :
Strangely enough, chocolate’s relationship to the Easter holiday started with Hot Cross Buns, which were originally banned by the Queen in the 16th century. Queen Elizabeth I banned the giving of Hot Cross Buns because they had ties to Catholicism. However, she did allow them during Easter which proved to be very popular amongst poor European nations.
At this time, chocolatiers were trying to figure out how they could compete with Hot Cross Buns. Chocolate makers had to try to find a way into the hearts of lower class families and high class societies at the same time. The first eggs were small and solid and made of a course, bitter dark chocolate. As technology improved and cocoa became more widely available, so did chocolate Easter eggs.
The first mass-produced Easter chocolate eggs appeared in England in 1873 when Cadbury created their first Easter egg. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that milk chocolate Easter eggs became available.
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