Yes, the bunny is on his way and soon the house will be full of little scraps of foil as we gorge on chocolate. However, before you lapse into a sugary coma, how much do you know about Easter? We’ve got a basket full of fun facts on these spring shenannigans!
- While Easter has been a Christian festival for millennia, it has origins in festivals stretching far back beyond that. Many believe that the name ‘Easter’ originates from the name of a pagan fertility goddess called ‘Eostre’.
- Easter sees the highest church service attendance of the year, more so than at Christmas.
- Eggs, accordingly, were chosen as a symbol of new life and fertility.
- Eggs given as gifts at Easter have their roots in ancient Egypt, but really kicked off during the Middle Ages.
- Along with the traditional eggs that were eaten throughout Europe during the Middle Ages and early modern period, pretzels were also a traditional dish. The twists of the bread were supposed to reflect hands in prayer.
- On the subject of traditional Easter foods, lamb being eaten at Easter was a holdover from the Jewish celebration of Passover, that happens just before Easter.
- Funnily enough, the first mention of the Easter Bunny distributing eggs as gifts comes in the late 17th century. Prior to that, not hunts for the kids!
- The date of Easter changes each year, as it is calculated using the Vernal Equinox.
- Before the introduction of the chocolate easter egg, the fun at Easter came from games played using eggs. One involved throwing at them and trying to catch it without cracking the shell – harder than it looks.
- Eastern europeans have a long and beautiful tradition of painting eggs at Easter time. In Ukraine, this art is known as ‘pysanka’.
- The Russian imperial family once commissioned jeweler Gustav Faberge to create intricately decorated ostrich eggs to give out at Easter time. Many of these beautiful works of art can be found in museums across Europe.
- The first chocolate easter egg was introduced in 1873, by British company J.S. Fry and Sons.
- 500 million of the classic Cadbury Creme Egg are made each year. If you piled them up, it is said, they would reach higher than Mt Everest.
- Chocolate bunnies are hollow, so you don’t break your teeth on gigantic lumps of chocolate.
- The most expensive easter eggs ever made cost about £25,000 – they are made by the firm ‘Choccywoccydoodah’ and pay tribute to Russian Faberge eggs.
- The biggest easter egg ever made stands about 10.5m tall and weighs over seven tonnes! It was constructed in Italy in 2007.
- Americans spend around 1.9 billion USD on chocolate at Easter each year.
- Children in the UK, on average receive eight chocolate easter eggs each year – potentially doubling their calorie intake for the week! #
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