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When we hear the word “Easter”, the majority of us probably think of chocolate and bunnies! But why do we associate rabbits with Easter? Not that we are complaining about it, but where did the idea of eating chocolate Easter eggs come from? With Easter just around the corner, we decided to find out more about the oldest Christian tradition.
Here are ten fun facts that you may not have known about Easter:
Easter is a moveable feast, meaning it has no fixed date. Instead, Easter falls on the first Sunday after the full moon (Paschal Full moon) following the March equinox. The date of Easter therefore varies from 22 March to 25 April inclusive. Easter is the celebration of the resurrection of Christ. It is the oldest Christian tradition and is considered to be the most important date of the year on the Christian calendar.
Easter also marks the end of Lent and the week leading up to Easter is known as Holy week. Holy week includes a number of important Christian dates such as Holy Thursday (when Jesus had his last supper with the Apostles), Good Friday (the day that Christ was crucified) and Holy Saturday (commemorates the time between crucifixion and resurrection). Eggs were forbidden to Christians during Lent which was a time of fasting. Christians would use up their eggs and dairy the night before Lent commenced on Shrove Tuesday (also known as Pancake Tuesday). Christians would then eat eggs again at Easter time once Lent was over as they would have accumulated them during the Lenten period. Hence the association of eggs and Easter! Christians consider Easter eggs to symbolise joy and celebration, new life and resurrection.
Decorating eggs came from the custom of staining eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ that was shed at his crucifixion. The first mass-produced egg appeared in 1873 and was created by Cadbury and made an eggs-cellent (sorry we couldn’t help ourselves!) gift. People started to give chocolate Easter eggs as gifts in the early 1900's. The tradition of buying and giving chocolate Easter eggs took off and hasn't slowed, with Australians expected to spend a whopping $176.5 million on chocolate and confectionery this Easter!
It's no surprise then to hear that Cadbury spends 10 months' of the year making its 270 million chocolate eggs and chocolate bunnies for Easter. The Easter bunny also has origins in Germany among German Lutherans who depicted the Easter bunny or hare as a judge who decided whether or not children were well behaved enough to be rewarded with Easter eggs. So, as you rip the gold wrapper off of your bunny and crack open hollow Easter eggs to see if there are any more treats inside, you can impress your family and friends with some of these fun Easter facts!
Happy Easter from the team at Interflora Australia!