Why do we have chocolate eggs at Easter?

Why do we have chocolate eggs at Easter?

Ever wondered how eggs and chocolate became synonymous with Easter – the most important Christian holiday where the resurrection of Christ is celebrated?

Eggs have long been considered a religious symbol and represent fertility, rebirth and new life. For thousands of years people around the world have used eggs to celebrate spring and the new growing season. Ancient Egyptians, Romans and Greeks were known to have dyed their eggs to symbolise a new beginning, brought on by the new season.

Before Christianity and eggs were linked, eggs were a pagan symbol for new life. It has been suggested that as Christianity spread throughout Europe, pagan symbols and customs were adapted and incorporated by the church. For some Christians today, the egg represents the stone that was rolled away from the tomb and the resurrection of Christ.

Decorating eggs and giving them as gifts at the beginning of spring is also a tradition that predates Christian practises. As far back as the 17th century, children were given egg-shaped toys to play with, while the Victorians filled their eggs with chocolates and gifts and covered then in satin. When it comes to the ultimate egg gift, however, that honour must go to the Fabergé egg – a series of jewelled Easter eggs created by the House of Fabergé for the Russian Imperial family.

So, while there’s a connection between eggs and Easter, where does the chocolate fit in?

The history of chocolate eggs is a little murky, but this confectionery began to appear in Germany and France at the start of the 19th century. These first chocolate eggs were solid and made from dark, bitter chocolate. Altogether they were not very palatable.

As chocolate production began to evolve and grow, the first hollow Easter eggs were made in 1875, and were filled with sugared almonds. Thirty years later, a range of milk chocolate eggs was launched, and this sweeter chocolate would have a tremendous impact on the market, increasing chocolate sales dramatically. Today, the vast majority of chocolate eggs that are sold and eaten are made from milk chocolate.

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