A lot of people will be celebrating Easter this year but have you ever asked yourself why do we give Easter eggs. Easter is on its way and it’s time to start thinking about who you want to buy those yummy chocolate eggs for. Buy why do we go gaga for the sweet stuff? Where did Easter eggs come from? And how did they become so popular that we needed a dedicated pop-up café? If you’d love to know the history of the Easter egg, here’s a look at just how we’ve ended up with these delicious treats at this time of year.
It started with religion
Easter’s a Christian festival and Easter eggs have been associated with spring for centuries. However, eggs were used as a symbol of new life before Christianity, so the link with growth and emergence after the cold winter has always been there. Eggs ultimately became synonymous with the faith because they act as a reminder and representation of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The shell symbolizes the tomb and the chick that appears from inside it represents Jesus coming back to life.
We’ve always been crafty when it comes to how we treat eggs at Easter. Before chocolate eggs first appeared, real chicken and goose ones were decorated for the festivities. This was a particularly popular way to mark the occasion during the Middle Ages, however, by the 1700s everyone was decorating papier-mâché eggs.
The introduction of chocolate
The first chocolate egg arrived in the UK 1873 and was made by chocolatier, Fry’s. During this time, they were solid chocolate, making them extremely decadent. Brits took the lead from our French and German counterparts, who had been making chocolate eggs earlier in the 19th century, but these were bitter and too hard to make them enjoyable.
From there, chocolate creators were able to improve on their techniques and methods to create hollow eggs. These hollowed eggs continue to be the ones we eat and give as gifts today.
Why do we give eggs as gifts?
While the type of eggs we see have dramatically changed over time, giving them as gifts has been a tradition for centuries. In fact, it’s recorded that in 1290 Edward I gave gold-leafed eggs as Easter gifts. In addition, Faberge eggs became popular in the 1800s when the Russian Tsar, Alexander III, wanted to give a special Easter gift to his wife and commissioned Peter Carl Faberge to make something special. This led to the creation of a jeweled egg within an egg and started the trend that we still see today.
Eater eggs in the 2020s
The sale of Easter eggs now make up 10% of Britain’s annual spending on chocolate. There are so many styles and types to choose from, with some of the most luxurious Easter eggs available for those we truly care about. So, when you give your eggs as gifts this Easter, you can share some facts about their rich history.