When we think about Easter we think about winter finally ending, spring arriving, but most of all we think about Easter chocolate.
But how did chocolate become associated with the Easter?
If you think about it, the egg has always been a symbol for fertility and of rebirth, and Easter usually falls at the beginning of Spring when daffodils start to blossom, buds start to appear on trees and gardens start to become fertile, buzzing with bees and butterflies.
The history of egg decoration dates back to before Christian times, as far back as the Persians, where eggs were painted for the spring equinox. That said, the tradition of decorating eggs has been and still is prevalent in most cultures around the word, for instance in Russian and Greek orthodox communities have always decorated and cracked eggs to celebrate the Russian Easter and New Year.
Insofar as Christians are concerned, they adopted the egg as a symbol of rebirth and the resurrection of Christ. The egg also denotes the end of lent, the 40 day period when Christians fast, abstain or show penitence to commemorate Christ’s fasting in the Judaean Desert.
Nowadays, most Christians abstain from eating sweets of chocolate during lent, therefore the chocolate egg not only signifies the resurrection of Christ but also the end of their fasting or abstinence period.
In time, eggs have lost their symbolic religious meaning and more “pagan” decorated chocolate eggs started appearing in Germany and France during the early 19th Century. This new tradition was adopted in England shortly, after by JS Fry from Bristol, in 1873.
Today, we can find chocolate eggs in most supermarkets, and it is tradition to do an Easter egg hunt on Easter Sunday, when most parents hide eggs around the house and garden and their children have to run around trying to find as many as possible. This is so much fun (even for adults!!!) and you can find many Easter egg hunts in different locations in and around London by following this link: Easter in London Egg hunts