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. http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/history-of-easter. Her symbols were the hare and egg and 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 idea of the Easter Bunny can be traced back to Germany and Oschter Haws. Oschter Haws was a rabbit who would lay a nest of coloured eggs for good children on the night before Easter. In the 1700’s German emigrants brought the legend to America, as well as Oshter Haws pastries, the origin of the chocolate rabbit. As the legend and popularity of Oshter Haws spread, he soon became the Easter Bunny. http://www.irishwhiskeymuseum.ie/news/origins-easter-bunny/
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. http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/food-and-drink/easter-treats-the-history-behind-your-chocolate-eggs-1.2584588. Fry would go on to make the first chocolate Easter Egg in the UK in 1873. https://www.lovefood.com/news/56494/the-history-of-easter-eggs
Did You Know?
- The tallest chocolate Easter egg ever was made in Italy in 2011. At 10.39 metres in height and 7,200 kg in weight, it was taller than a giraffe and heavier than an elephant! https://www.uselessdaily.com/news/50-amazing-facts-about-easter-list/#ixzz5lRI9vm8E
- In America, over 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are made each year!! http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/history-of-easter
- Decorated ostrich eggs, estimated to be up to 5,000 years old, were found in the tombs of ancient Sumerians and Egyptians http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/food-and-drink/easter-treats-the-history-behind-your-chocolate-eggs-1.2584588
- Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America, after Halloween http://www.history.com/topics/holidays/easter-symbols
- 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. They commissioned roughly 50 eggs in that time, with 43 still surviving. http://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/food-and-drink/easter-treats-the-history-behind-your-chocolate-eggs-1.2584588