As a child Easter for me was really just about getting an Easter egg from the Easter bunny. The excitement that built up to that day was immense. If I could have exploded I probably would have done, which would have been scary and somewhat messy! It was just the best chocolate ever. I don’t know why it tasted so different to a bar of Dairy milk from the shops, but to me there was just no comparison. I would savour every mouthful of that Dairy milk egg- the anticipation of unwrapping it, trying desperately to break it in 2 even halves, and waiting for the crack, as the chocolate finally broke- usually into a million pieces, as it never broke in half for me. I didn’t really think about anything else, except that the Easter Bunny never forgot that I loved Dairy Milk.
As a mum now with 2 young girls, it’s just lovely to see just how excited they both get, with the arrival of an egg from the Easter bunny. I don’t think they have that same level of obsession over Dairy Milk eggs, as I did thank goodness. Only now it’s not just one egg from the Easter bunny, it usually involves an Easter egg hunt, with their cousins; sometimes in the pouring rain (they love it).
The end result being a basket full of eggs, which then takes them a life time to eat. Obviously if that was me it wouldn’t take me long to eat my way through it at all haha! I have come to finally realise (many years later), that there is a lot more to Easter than just chocolate. “Did she just swear at me? “ I hear some of you say. Has she completely lost her marbles? Debatable but no. For me Easter is all about having a laugh with my family, watching as my excited girls and their cousins tear up the garden, and the screams from the small one that “it isn’t fair”, if someone finds an egg before she does. It’s just a good excuse for a party really, and a family get together. Of which the end result is of course to still devour a large amount of chocolate. I am pleased to say that my 2 girls are a lot more restrained than I was, with their eggs. They can make theirs last weeks, even months, which is quite impressive.
It does get me thinking about how Easter and the Easter bunny all came about? I mean why is it an Easter Bunny that brings the eggs? Bunny’s don’t lay eggs. You never really hear of the Easter Chicken doing deliveries do you?
So why a rabbit? Why do we celebrate Easter? Why do we have chocolate eggs? (because they’re delicious that’s why). So many questions. Let’s find some answers shall we.
So why do we celebrate Easter? (to eat chocolate eggs obviously because they’re so scrummy). Well yes that is now part of it. But actually it’s a holiday that was initiated by the Christian Church, to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ, on what we now call Easter Sunday, 3 days after he was crucified. I’ll bet you some of you didn’t know that eh!
What I’d like to really know is where the Easter Bunny came from? Well after a little bit of research on Google, I soon discovered that the idea came about in the 18th century in the U.S, with an egg giving hare, not a rabbit at all. In folklore from Northwest Europe, the “Easter Bunny” was actually a hare. Apparently by the 19th century, the story of the Easter Bunny became common place. Did that blow your mind? Have a look at these pictures and see which image of the Easter bunny most fits with the image in your head?
And why on earth would a hare give eggs, I hear you ask? Good question. Now that I’ve looked this up, I can give you the answer. Rabbits are seen as a symbol of new life, by giving birth to a large number of babies. According to legend the Easter Bunny lays, decorates and hides eggs, which are also a symbol of new life. These eggs would have been forbidden during lent. So any eggs laid during this time were saved, and decorated to be given as gifts to children at the end of lent. Apparently only good children were given eggs, so woe betide you if you’d been bad. The idea of eggs fits well with the celebration of spring, and new life. The Christians adopted the idea of decorating them.
The whole concept of chocolate eggs (this is where the fun starts) came to fruition in Europe, in the early 19th century, with France and Germany making their entrance into this new line of confectionary. Having made Easter eggs at home, I can fully appreciate that the art of perfecting the hollow chocolate egg using moulds took quite some time. As you can probably guess, mine didn’t quite turn out like the ones you see below. These are truly amazing, and show the true art of chocolate.
Does anybody know what the 2 great inventions were that allowed the rapid progression of the modern Easter egg? Ok well the first was a press invented by the Dutchman, Van Houten to separate cocoa from the cocoa bean.
And the second was Cadbury’s introduction of a pure cocoa, which made the process of large amounts of cocoa butter available, which in turn was the secret of making moulded chocolate ( we love you Cadbury’s).
And there you have it in a nutshell -the true meaning of Easter. Enjoy it!