Easter: An Egg-ceptionally Sweet History
Easter is the most important holiday in Christianity: the celebration of the resurrection of Christ, the cornerstone of the religion. But the Christian observance is often accompanied by a secular celebration marking the arrival of spring. On Easter Sunday, children and adults enjoy celebrating the arrival of the Easter Bunny who brings baskets filled with candy, participating in Easter egg hunts and snacking on brightly colored eggs and themed candies associated with the holiday.
The most well-known symbol associated with Easter is the Easter Bunny. The seasonal hare was introduced to America in the 18th century by German immigrants, though the existence of the "Osterhase" dates back to the 17th century. We can also thank the Germans for the edible Easter egg which was first made of sugar and pastry in the 19th century. These eggs were traditionally deposited in the hats and bonnets of young children, though in modern times the Easter Bunny prefers to bring his own basket. The Easter Bunny is a sign of new life, as are the brightly colored eggs he brings (both the hard boiled versions and the candy-filled plastic ones popular on Easter egg hunts). While the chocolate Easter bunny is the most popular treat to fill Easter baskets, chocolate eggs, marshmallow chicks and jelly beans fill a good portion of baskets as well.
All About Easter Candy
- The first chocolate eggs were made in Europe in the early 19th century and remain among the most popular treats associated with Easter.
- Easter is the second top-selling confectionery holiday behind only Halloween.
- 87 percent of adults carry on the Easter tradition of creating Easter baskets for their kids.
- 76 percent of people eat the ears on chocolate bunnies first.
- Red jelly beans are kids' favorite.
- According to the Guinness Book of World Records the largest chocolate Easter egg ever made debuted in 2011. It was just over 34-ft high and weighed nearly 16,000 lbs. The largest chocolate bunny ever made weighed in at 6,635 lbs and was 12 ft tall; it took a team of four people in South Africa three days to sculpt it. The largest Easter egg hunt, held in 2007 at Cypress Gardens Advernture Park in Florida, contained 501,000 eggs.
All About the Easter Bunny
- The Easter Bunny is a symbol of new life during the spring season.
- The idea of the Easter Bunny with baskets of eggs started in Europe as the Easter Hare. The hare was originally a symbol of Easter for the Germans who came to America in the 18th century.
- German settlers told tales of a white hare who would leave brightly colored eggs for all good children on Easter morning.
- Early American children built nests of leaves and sticks in their gardens for the Easter Hare to fill with colored eggs.
- By the 19th century in America, the Easter Hare had become the Easter Bunny delighting children with baskets of eggs, chocolates, candy chicks, jelly beans and other gifts on Easter morning.