Easter Sunday falls this weekend, on Sunday, April 21, and traditionally is celebrated with attending mass, having a roast dinner and of course eating chocolate Easter eggs. Like Christmas, Easter is a holiday to overindulge on food, with a bank holiday Monday to recover from all that food. But where do Easter eggs originate from? Why do we celebrate with chocolate?
Eggs have been a symbol of fertility for hundreds of years, symbolising new life, new beginnings and rebirth.
Easter is a Christian celebration marking the time during which when Jesus Christ died and on the third day resurrected.
Over time eggs began to represent the emergence of Christ from his tomb as he resurrected.
This also tied in with cultures from around the world who decorate eggs, including the in Persian culture – when eggs were decorated by the whole family at Nowruz, close to the Spring equinox.
It is thought that tradition was one which influenced Christianity.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, the idea of a toy shaped like an egg was born, made, sold and given to children at Easter.
It is thought the first chocolate Easter eggs were created in Germany and France close to the beginning of the 19th century.
In the UK, the first chocolate egg is attributed to JS Fry of Bristol in 1873.
Other confectionary companies soon leapt on this idea and the Easter egg tradition grew.
As Easter falls in the spring, and chicks and bunnies are associated with this season, chocolate forms of those followed soon behind.
Easter treats to buy this year
Pierre Marcolini’s Easter rabbits – Cute rabbits in top hats which are available in the Maison’s own dark, milk or white chocolate, made using cocoa beans from Cameroon and Ecuador – £9
Available from the Marylebone Boutique, Harrods, Selfridges and online.
Nestle’s Incredible Eggs – Four different flavours, each containing a chocolate egg with special ingredients included directly in the shell! These are available at stores nationwide and are flavoured:
The KitKat Chunky Salted Caramel Fudge Incredible Egg
The Yorkie Raisin and Biscuit Incredible Egg
Orange Smarties Mini Eggs Incredible Egg
The Smarties Mini Eggs Incredible Egg
Dream Eggs created by James Cadbury (the great-great-great grandson of Mr Cadbury), these come in four flavours, The Gin Dream Egg, Made with Passion (and a bit of Mango) Dream Egg, the Salty Caramel Dream Egg and the Nutty Praline Dream Egg.
The eggs are available for £25 for 4 eggs (65g each) from the Love Cocoa website.
For something a little different Lidl have created Easter Egg Baklava.
These are £2.99 for a pack of eight and Katafi pastry nests with a caramel fudge sauce are topped with a pastel-hued mini egg and are available in Lidl stores nationwide while stocks last.