Easter – a time when many of us celebrate with mass amounts of chocolate and homemade delicious pancakes.
But have you ever wondered where the Easter bunny and the idea of giving chocolate eggs came from?
When you think about the fact it’s a holiday based on the resurrection of Jesus it’s hard to see the connection…
According to sources, the goddess of fertility is called “Eostre” and her associate was a hare, which were also seen as a symbol of fertility and thought to have special powers in assisting humans to reproduce.
(Pointless fact moment – Rabbits are in fact so fertile that they can conceive a second littler while still pregnant with the first)!
The world begins to bloom once more in Spring so this was seen as the time of birth and rebirth, and it was then that the goddess “Eostre” was celebrated – before Christian traditions came into practise.
It was common for Christians to incorporate pre-Christian ideas and place them within the context of their own traditions, to create a mix of both Christian and Pagan concepts.
So, Eostre became Easter, and the Easter bunny is thought to have come from Germany, as did the idea of eggs – well behaved children would wake up to find brightly colouredeggs in their caps and bonnets after making a special nest for them the day before.
Over time, the tradition grew, and Osterhare (or Easter Bunny as we know it) gave more than just eggs, but chocolate and sweets as well – all in a nicely decorated Easter basket. After this came the progression of chocolate Easter eggs and the holiday as we know it was born.
A question slightly harder to answer is one that seems to plague a lot of people around this time: why is it Easter egg chocolate tastes so much better than regular chocolate?
One explanation is that it’s because Easter egg chocolate is so thin, as it dissolves on the tongue it’s exposed to the air so that there is a separation between the taste buds with chocolate on and the ones without.
Although, I think the explanation that it’s the only time of the year when we can consume loads of chocolate and not feel at all guilty about it suits most of us just as well!