Spring has sprung and that means the Easter bunny is gathering up goodies to fill children’s Easter baskets. Many of us may not know the history behind the Easter bunny. Why do we make chocolate bunnies and eggs?
Although Easter is considered a Christian holiday, all the fun things about Easter are pagan. Historians have traced the origin of the word Easter to the Scandinavian word ‘Ostra’ and the Germanic ‘Ostern’ or ‘Eastre’. Both of these derive from the names of mythological goddesses of spring and fertility, for whom festivals were held at the time of the Spring Equinox. Similar goddesses were known by other names in other cultures around the Mediterranean, such as Aphrodite from Cyprus, Astarte from Phoenicia, Demeter from Mycenae, Hathor from Egypt, and Ishtar from Assyria. All of these goddesses were celebrated in the spring. Eggs, chicks, and bunnies were often associated with rebirth and fertility and were symbols used during the celebrations. As Christianity spread, the church adopted the imagery to make Christianity more appealing to pagans, who they hoped to convert.
The symbols of the Norse goddess Ostara were the hare and the egg, both representing fertility. The earthly symbol for the goddess Eastre, goddess of the dawn, was also the rabbit, a symbol of new life. Historians believe the legend of the Easter Bunny originated in Germany before surfacing in the New World in the seventeenth century. Children believed the Easter Bunny would leave them coloured eggs if they were good, and left out their Easter bonnets and caps for the gifts.
The exchange of eggs is an ancient custom, celebrated by many cultures.
The egg has been a symbol of rebirth and fertility for many centuries. Long before Christianity was introduced, eggs were painted with bright colours to celebrate the sunlight of spring.
Decorating and colouring Easter eggs was a popular custom in the middle ages, and throughout Europe different cultures have evolved their own styles and colours. In Greece, crimson-coloured Easter eggs are exchanged, whereas in Eastern Europe and Russia silver and gold decorations are common, and Austrian Easter eggs often have plant and fern designs. The first chocolate Easter eggs were made in Europe in the early 19th Century with France and Germany taking the lead in this new artistic confectionery.
Some early eggs were solid while the production of the first hollow chocolate eggs must have been rather painstaking as the molds were lined with paste chocolate one at a time!
At Belicious we strive to make chocolates that can be eaten by everyone. Because all of our products are VEGAN, and ORGANIC you don’t have to worry about indulging your little ones or even yourself! We offer our vegan coconut milk chocolate bunnies and eggs wrapped in colorful foils in our Bunny Lump Bags