Easter is such a wonderful time of the year, to me it signals the end of winter and the start of the countdown to summer. Obviously it is a religious holiday marking the point in Christianity when Jesus went and resurrected himself from death, which in my books is definitely a good reason to have a little celebration.
Growing up, my brother and I would be showered with delicious choccy eggs come Easter Sunday and we would sit on our respective sides of the sofa (I was guaranteed death if I dare put a toe onto his side) and we would gorge on every single scrap of chocolate until there was not a chocolate bean left. I could never understand it when I’d go to friends houses and they’d still have Easter eggs sat on shelves IN JULY?! I never had that level of self control.
As a child I was confused as to why we had chocolate eggs at Easter or why a giant egg laying rabbit supposedly came and hid them in the garden for us but I never dared ask an adult in case they realised it was ridiculous and stopped doing it. It wasn’t until I got older and google was invented that I got to the bottom of it.
Here’s a little history lesson…
The Easter Bunny stems from Anglo-Saxon times when the Hare was seen as a symbol of fertility in the religion of Paganism and so featured in their festival known as Eostre. The word ‘Eostre’ is named after the Saxon goddess of Spring who, legend has it, found a wounded bird whilst out walking and turned it into a hare so that it could survive the winter. This hare then realised it could still lay eggs and so gifted these eggs to the goddess Eostre as a sort of ‘Ta very much for saving me’. This is how the hare or bunny came to be related to Easter.
Which brings us nicely to the all important chocolate egg. As a symbol of fertility and rebirth signalled by Spring, an egg was a common gift to give loved ones at this time of year. However, the eggs weren’t chocolate they were usually brightly decorated bird eggs (how disappointed my five-year-old self would be…). It wasn’t until the early 1800’s when chocolate had become more widely available that the first chocolate Easter eggs emerged. Thank god.
So there we have it, a brief history of why we have such cute and delicious Easter holidays!
Even if you are not interested in the religious part of Easter I feel it is an important calendar occasion to mark in some way as it comes at a time when the world seems to wake up after a long bare winter and treats us to a beautiful visual display of bright yellow daffodils, fluffy lambs and green shoots springing from the ground and trees. It makes you realise how easy it was for the Saxons to believe in gods’ and goddesses as Spring really is one of the worlds miracles. Another miracle is how every year my mum would somehow forget the Easter bonnet parade until 5 minutes before and I’d end up wearing a paper plate with those little yellow chicks stapled to it and sprinkled with glitter.
Below I have put together a little Easter Treat guide to make your Easter ‘eggstra’ Special!! (too much?)
Happy Easter to you and yours, love from me and mine x
1. Cute up your kitchen with this Easter Bunny Tea Towel from John Lewis – £5.00
2. Become a Chocolatier and make your own yummy Easter egg gifts with this kit from notonthehighstreet.com
3. Spoil yourselves and get all the delicious necessities in this family Easter hamper from Marks and Spencer – £50.00
4. Make them earn their chocolate with this Easter egg hunt kit from Lakelands – £6.66 reduced from £9.99
5. What came first the chicken or the egg? Who cares, as long as it’s chocolate! Milk chocolate hen with eggs available instore at Lidl – £2.99
6. We have them at Christmas so why not have an Easter Tree? Tree with decorations from Paperchase – £12.00
7. It’s not Easter until you’ve seen at least one of these little fella’s! Pack of 12 mini fluffy Easter chicks from Poundland – £1.00