“Most people outside of America won't get it. It's the Easter bunny. It's another lie and I don't understand why we had to invent this character." - Todd Rundgren
Well...it's official. Easter Friday is tomorrow and many of us will be planning Easter egg hunts for our children (and likely helping ourselves to the Peeps and Cadbury eggs we told ourselves were for the kids) this weekend. While buying copious amounts of chocolates, I silently wondered about the origins of the Easter bunny, egg hunt and colorful bonnets. I thought that it might be fun to share some interesting Easter trivia that you can astound your family and friends with as you gather this weekend.
Many recognize Easter as a Christian holiday, but the question persists. Why do we have Easter egg hunts? What is very interesting is that the history of an Easter egg and bunny seem to be rooted in paganism. Rabbits were commonly viewed as being symbols of fertility, and early German cultures believed that the goddess of springtime, Eostre, and her egg-laying rabbits marked the beginning of Spring. In Christian beliefs, an egg represented life and rebirth and red-colored eggs were often colored at Easter to represent the blood of Jesus. Interestingly enough, Iranians have a long history of decorating eggs during the Nowruz, the Iranian New Year which coincides with the spring equinox.
Easter egg hunts date back to 1700s, when "Oschter Haws" (which would later become the "Easter Bunny") would lay her eggs in the grass and kids were invited to best build nests for the eggs they found. Today, the Easter Bunny isn't known for laying eggs, but the tradition of making nests morphed into baskets, and the Easter egg hunt became what it is today.
Did you know that Easter is the SECOND biggest candy consuming holiday in North America, after Halloween? The average American will spend $131 on Easter this year alone. According to a poll, Reese's Peanut Butter eggs are the most popular candy brand at Easter, then Easter M & Ms, Jelly Belly jelly beans, Hershey's chocolates, and then in a four-way tie, Cadbury Creme eggs, Cadbury mini eggs, Snickers eggs (who knew?) and Marshmallow Peeps. Personally, I would suggest that this poll is not accurate because I love the Cadbury Creme eggs and feel that they should rank much higher on this poll. That's just my opinion though...