Happy Easter to all those that celebrate it, and all those just here for the food! Since today is a holiday, I figured a short post about some fun historical Easter facts would be more than appropriate. So keep scrolling to find some interesting Easter facts to share around the dinner table.
1. Painting Eggs has a long, long history
Humans have apparently been decorating eggs since we discovered that eggs were good to eat. The oldest decorated eggs are thought to have been made almost 60 thousand years ago. Eggs feature heavily in ancient mythologies as well! The tradition of painting eggs for Easter comes from the Ukrainian Eastern Orthodox, where elaborately decorated eggs are highly traditional.
2. The Most Popular Easter Candy is Peeps, which are 70 years old!
Peeps have been around longer than you think! Originally hand-crafted by a small specialty store in Pennslyvania, Peeps took 27 hours to make… each. They were less marshmallow and more meringue. They also had tiny wings! The candy company Just Born took over the company in 1953 and overhauled how Peeps were made. Automating the process and making them of true marshmallow cut the time down from 27 hours… to 6 minutes. Unfortunately, it also cut the wings off, leading to the wingless chicks we eat today!
3. The Term “Easter” Comes from the Goddess Eostre
The early Christians tended to borrow from the Pagans that they were trying to convert. It was thought that tying in the Pagan holidays to Christian holidays would help convert the pagans to Christianity. Easter is one of the holidays that can easily be traced back to its’ pagan roots. Eostre was the Germanic goddess of the dawn, and possibly fertility. The original holiday was linked to the spring equinox, although it is celebrated the first Sunday after the first full moon following the spring equinox. This is why Easter moves so much- it’s following an ancient pagan calendar! Happy Easter, and Happy Eostre!
4. Chocolate Easter Bunnies Started in 1890
The first chocolate bunny was made in 1890. Robert L. Strohecker wanted to draw in more business to his shop in Reading PA for the Easter Season. So of course he commissioned a giant chocolate bunny to display. He’s now considered the father of chocolate Easter bunnies. Easter bunnies for baskets were available in Germany in 1890, and in 1925 the Rodda Candy Company (The same that originally made the meringue Peeps!) offered chocolate bunnies in a catalog.
5. Pretzels Were Once an Easter Food
Pretzels were once considered to be a highly religious food. The dough was supposedly shaped like arms folded in prayer. The three holes were for the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Pretzels are linked to the fast before easter and were hidden, and hunted for, just like the eggs. Since they don’t contain eggs, they were an acceptable food to eat during Lent.