At Easter we often give and receive chocolate Easter eggs. In years gone by I have eaten them without further thought as to what they have to do with Easter.
It is a very simple association, so first of all, let’s think about what Easter is. It is a Christian celebration of Jesus’s resurrection, after he was crucified on the cross. The resurrection can also be considered as a re-birth.
The week leading up to Easter is called Holy week, and originally the church did not allow eggs to be eaten during this week. Therefore, any eggs laid that week were saved and decorated, and given to the children on Easter Sunday.
Eggs and bunnies are also a symbol of new life and birth (re-birth), so another reason why eggs are given.
But they haven’t always been chocolate eggs. As stated above, hand painted eggs were given long ago as presents, decorated with vegetable dyes and charcoal. Some were very elaborately decorated, and Carl Faberge was commissioned to make a bejewelled creation for the Russian Czar. Eventually, a sweet egg was given, but this was made from sugar or marzipan. Someone finally thought about making a chocolate egg, and it seems we’ve never looked back – hooray! The first chocolate eggs were solid, but then technology advanced and moulds were created allowing hollow eggs to be made. So, chocolate eggs & bunnies are a relatively modern addition.