While the exact origins of the word Easter name are unknown, some sources claim the word Easter is derived from Eostre, a Germanic goddess of spring and fertility. See more on the history of Easter here. Eostre’s, symbols were the hare and egg. She was celebrated around the spring equinox. As Christianity spread throughout Europe, missionaries merged the festival of Eostre and the celebration of Jesus’s resurrection, as they did with many other pagan festivals and traditions…so Easter was born.
The image of the rabbit was changed into Oschter Haws by the Germans. Oschter Haws was a rabbit who would lay a nest of coloured eggs for good children on the night before Easter. In the 1700s German emigrants to American brought the legend with them, they are also responsible for the chocolate rabbit as they would make Oshter Haws pastries. As the legend and popularity of Oshter Haws spread, he soon became the Easter Bunny. See the origins of the East Bunny here.
The Fabergé eggs are likely the most famous decorative eggs, made in 1885 to 1917 by the Russian jeweller Peter Carl Fabergé for Russian Tsars Alexander III and Nicholas II. The Eggs were given Easter gifts. They commissioned roughly 50 eggs in that time, with 43 still surviving. An additional two Faberge eggs were planned for Easter 1918 but delivery was prevented by the Russian Revolution.
In 1847, chocolate maker and inventor Joseph Fry discovered he could create a chocolate paste that was mouldable by mixing cocoa powder, sugar and melted cocoa butter. See the history behind Easter eggs here.
Fry produced the UK’s first chocolate Easter egg in 1873. See more here.
Did You Know?
- In America, over 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are made each year!! www.history.com
- Decorated ostrich eggs, estimated to be up to 5,000 years old, were found in the tombs of ancient Sumerians and Egyptians www.irishtimes.com
- Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America, after Halloween www.history.com