It comes around every year, but what do we really know about Easter? For example do you know why the date of it shifts around so much? Or how it came to be called ‘Easter’? Or where the first chocolate Easter Eggs came from?
To find out, grab yourself a toasted hot cross bun and a cup of tea, as you discover 7 Egg-straordinary Things About Easter!
1. Where it all began…
Easter is first and foremostly known as a Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is one of the most significant events in the Christian calendar and is observed by Christians all over the world. The holiday also has its roots in Jewish tradition – specifically the Jewish festival of Passover, which celebrates the liberation of the Israelites from slavery in Egypt.
However, the word “Easter” is derived from the Old English word “Ēastre,” which was the name of a pagan goddess of spring and fertility, and a pagan festival celebrating the arrival of spring.
But whether you embrace the spiritual roots of Easter or not, it is a great time to come together with family and friends, to share in the joy of the holiday.
2. When is it (and why is it different every year)?
If you’ve always wondered why the dates of Easter shift around so much, here’s how it’s determined. It is based on the cycles of the moon, so it varies each year, falling on the first Sunday following the first full moon after the equinox (March 20-21).
This means that Easter can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25. In 2023, it will be celebrated on Sunday, April 9.
In the UK, we have always a nice long Easter holiday weekend, starting with Good Friday and ending on Easter Monday. Easter Sunday is considered the most important day of the holiday with church services and communion for some. Many also celebrate with family gatherings, festive meals, and the giving of Easter Eggs and other gifts.
3. How eggs become an Easter thing
Easter Eggs have become one of the most popular symbols and celebrations of Easter, whether painted and decorated eggs or chocolate ones. The exact origins of them are unclear, although again they may have pagan roots, as they are a symbol of fertility and rebirth.
Then in early Christian times, eggs were often dyed red to represent the blood of Christ and were given as gifts to celebrate the holiday.
Over time, the practice of decorating Easter eggs became more elaborate, with intricate designs and patterns created using a variety of materials like wax, dyes, and paint. In some cultures, eggs were even decorated with gold and jewels.
We may not decorate them that egg-stravagantly these days, however painting our eggs can be great fun and make a lovely Easter centrepiece. (If you’re looking for some mess free ideas on how to create some fun egg decorations, check this video out here.)
And when did they become chocolate? Chocolate eggs were first produced in Germany and France in the early 1800s. In the UK, the first chocolate Easter eggs were made by Fry’s Chocolate in 1873.
These early chocolate eggs were solid, as it was not yet possible to produce hollow chocolate eggs. The first one of those was produced in the early 20th century, and by the 1920s they had become popular in many countries.
And once you’ve got your eggs, who doesn’t love the thrill of an Easter Egg hunt? Running around looking for chocolate eggs hidden by the Easter Bunny – what’s not to like? (Our boys still love it at 18 & 16!)
4. Where the Easter Bunny came from
According to legend, the Easter Bunny is a magical creature who brings baskets of eggs and candy to children on Easter morning. The bunny is said to lay and decorate the eggs, hiding them for children to find during Easter egg hunts.
The origins of the Easter Bunny are somewhat unclear, but it is believed to have originated in Germany in the 1700s and was then introduced to the US by German immigrants.
It feels appropriate that a bunny is our Easter figure, as it is a symbol of spring, fertility and new life – themes that are central to the holiday of Easter.
And now, Easter wouldn’t be the same without the Easter Bunny – it has become as essential to our culture, and as beloved, as Father Christmas and the Tooth Fairy.
5. The other most popular Easter traditions
Food of course! Many of us gather for a special meal on Easter Sunday. Easter foods vary depending on the culture and region, but commonly include ham, lamb, or other roasted meats. And of course hot cross buns and other special Easter treats!
In some places, Easter parades are still popular. They often feature colourful floats, live music, and people dressed in Easter-themed costumes.
And of course part of any Easter Parade is the Easter Bonnet. Many times I attempted to turn an old straw hat into a passable Easter Bonnet for my boy’s school parade (only for them to refuse to wear it…)
Also in some parts of Europe, it’s traditional to light a large Easter Bonfire on Easter Sunday. This symbolises the triumph of light over darkness and the renewal of the earth.
And of course it’s always nice to receive something in the post and Easter is no egg-ception! Sending Easter Cards with messages of hope, renewal, and joy to their loved ones.is a thoughtful tradition.
So whether you celebrate Easter in a religious or secular way, there are plenty of traditions to make the holiday meaningful and enjoyable.
6. Some little known Easter facts…
The largest Easter egg ever made was over 34 feet tall and weighed over 15,000 pounds. It was made in Italy in 2011. (Try hiding that one for your Egg hunt!)
And the world’s largest Easter egg hunt was held in Florida in 2007. Over 9,000 children searched for over 500,000 eggs.
In Bermuda, it is customary to celebrate Easter with kite flying on Good Friday. This tradition dates back over a century.
And in some Eastern European countries, it is customary to have water fights on Easter Monday. People will throw water at each other, often using buckets or water guns.
Also did you know that Hot Cross Buns were originally made by monks in the Middle Ages? The cross on the bun represents the crucifixion of Jesus.
Finally, do you create an Easter Egg-plant??!! In some parts of the world, it’s traditional to make an Easter tree by hanging decorated eggs from the branches of a birch or willow tree.
7. The most egg-cruitiating Easter puns!
How does the Easter Bunny stay fit? By doing lots of egg-cercise!
Why did the Easter egg refuse to go to school? Because it was already egg-sperienced!
How do you know if a bunny is happy? It hops around with egg-citement!
What do you call a line of rabbits walking backwards? A receding hare-line!
What do you call an egg from outer space? An egg-stra-terrestrial!
So there you go, I hope you’ve enjoyed 7 of the many Egg-straordinary things about Easter!
Whether you celebrate the holiday for its religious significance or for its secular traditions, there’s something special about this time of year. Easter is ultimately a wonderful time to come together and celebrate the traditions and the joy of family.
And if you’d like to celebrate the joy of your family with a unique and beautiful gift, take a look at our “Family Bus” personalised print.
This a beautifully illustrated print is personalised with the Family Name and all the Family Members in a delightful poem. It is available Unframed or Framed, and it celebrates the joy and heart of the family.❤️
“Because whatever the journey, whatever the weather, your Family Bus travels forever, together.”