7 things you didn’t know about: Easter

Image: 123RF

Today, Easter is known to be a time all about egg hunts and chocolate bunnies, as most of its traditional origins have since taken the back burner.

Easter Sunday [also known as Resurrection Sunday] is the most important day of the year for Christians, as it is the celebration of Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead.

With the special holiday just days away, here are just a few interesting facts behind Easter as well as the most common symbols and customs.

1. The Easter bunny legend began in Germany

Ever wondered where and how the Easter bunny fits in to the whole Easter tradition? Well, legend has it that just like Santa Claus has no Christian significance to Christmas, the Easter bunny also has no real connection to this holy day.

The origin of the Easter bunny dates back hundreds of years, at the beginning in pre-Christian Germany. This is where the hare was said to be the symbol of the pagan goddess of spring and fertility.

As Christianity spread across Europe, pagan traditions were blended with Christian holidays, which saw the Easter bunny lay a nest of colourful known today as chocolate eggs for children who were well-behaved on Easter Sunday.

2. Decorating eggs is an ancient tradition 

Archaeologists have found fragments of carved ostrich eggs used as drinking vessels from 60,000 years ago in Africa. Eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Jesus Christ. This was done before being blessed and distributed to congregants.

3. Giving eggs is a symbol of “rebirth” in many cultures

In many cultures, the egg symbolises new life, fertility, and rebirth in several places around the world. The round shape of the egg has also been used as a symbol of the earth and humans’ connection with nature.

4. Pretzels are linked to Easter too

With a careful look at pretzels, one can believe that just like the bunny, they too are linked to Easter. It could be because the twists of the pretzel kind of look like arms crossed in prayer.

5. Before plastic, Easter eggs were made with cardboard

Back in the 17th and 18th centuries, fillable eggs were made out of cardboard and covered with satin. This is the reason some chocolate eggs look like dinosaur eggs. The scaly, crocodile-skin texture you see on many chocolate Easter eggs was developed by German chocolatiers as an easy way to disguise any imperfections.

6. Decorating eggs comes from a Ukrainian tradition

The ornate eggs were called pysankas, which were made by using wax and dyes. It wasnt until Ukrainian immigrants moved to the US that the colourful custom caught on.

7. During medieval times, a very different game was played with eggs

During the dark ages, a priest would throw a hard-boiled egg to one of the choir boys, he would continue to toss it to his peers, and whoever was holding the egg when the clock struck 12 was the winner and got to keep it.

Today, Easter is known to be a time all about egg hunts and chocolate bunnies, as most of its traditional origins have since taken the back burner.

Easter Sunday [also known as Resurrection Sunday] is the most important day of the year for Christians, as it is the celebration of Jesus Christ's resurrection from the dead.

With the special holiday just days away, here are just a few interesting facts behind Easter as well as the most common symbols and customs.

1. The Easter Bunny legend began in Germany

Ever wondered where and how the Easter Bunny fits in to the whole Easter tradition? Well, legend has it that just like Santa Claus has no Christian significance to Christmas, the Easter Bunny also has no real connection to this holy day.

The origin of the Easter Bunny dates back hundreds of years, at the beginning in pre-Christian Germany. This is where the hare was said to be the symbol of the Pagan Goddess of Spring and Fertility.

As Christianity spread across Europe, Pagan traditions were blended with Christian holidays, which saw the Easter Bunny lay a nest of colourful known today as chocolate eggs for children who were well-behaved on Easter Sunday.

2. Decorating eggs is an ancient tradition 

Archaeologists found fragments of carved ostrich eggs used as drinking vessels from 60,000 years ago in Africa. Eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Jesus Christ, this was done before being blessed and distributed to congregants.

3.Giving eggs is a symbol of "rebirth" in many cultures

In many cultures, the egg symbolises new life, fertility, and rebirth in several places around the world. The round shape of the egg has also been used as a symbol of the earth and humans connection with nature.

4. Pretzels are linked to Easter too

With a careful look at Pretzels, one can believe that just like the Bunny, they too are linked to Easter. It could be because the twists of the pretzel kind of look like arms crossed in prayer. 

5.Before plastic, Easter eggs were made with cardboard

Back in the 17th and 18th centuries, fillable eggs were made out of cardboard and were covered with satin. This is the reason some chocolate eggs look like dinosaur eggs. The scaly, crocodile-skin texture you see on many chocolate Easter eggs was developed by German chocolatiers as an easy way to disguise any imperfections.

6. Decorating eggs comes from a Ukrainian tradition

The ornate eggs were called pysankas, which were made by using wax and dyes. It wasn't until Ukrainian immigrants moved to the U.S. that the colourful custom caught on.

7. During medieval times, a very different game was played with eggs

During the dark ages, a priest would throw a hard-boiled egg to one of the choir boys, he would continue to toss it to his peers, and whoever was holding the egg when the clock struck 12 was the winner and got to keep it.