By Lynn Blamires Content Writer for My Local Utah
Which came first the chicken or the Easter Bunny and what does that have to do with eggs? Well, that is obvious. Chickens are real and the Easter Bunny is a story, but that leaves the Easter Eggs to deal with.
Easter Is About Jesus Christ
Easter is about our Savior, Jesus Christ, His crucifixion, and resurrection. It is a time to reflect on this wonderful event and what it means to us. So how did eggs on Easter come about?
The Practice of Giving Eggs
English Heritage consulted Food Historian, Sam Bilton who shared this:
“Throughout history, people across the world have given each other eggs at spring festivals to mark the seasons. Early Christians in Mesopotamia dyed eggs in the period after Easter. The practice was adopted by the Orthodox Churches, and from there it spread into Western Europe. Eggs represent new life and rebirth, and it’s thought that this ancient custom was absorbed into Easter celebrations.”
“Various traditions and superstitions sprang up around the egg at Easter. Eggs laid on Good Friday were said to turn into diamonds if they were kept for 100 years. Some thought that eggs cooked on Good Friday and eaten on Easter would promote fertility and prevent sudden death, and it became the custom to have your eggs blessed before you ate them. It was also said that if your egg had two yolks, you’d soon become rich.”
The Easter Bunny Is a Secular Symbol
Meanwhile, History.com reports that “many Easter traditions are not found in the Bible. The most prominent secular symbol of the Christian holiday, the Easter bunny, was reportedly introduced to America by German immigrants. They brought stories of an egg-laying hare who delivered decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life.”
Children Had No Problem Embracing the Easter Bunny
“Children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the U.S., and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.”
Why Decorate Eggs?
“One explanation for the custom of decorating eggs is they were formerly a forbidden food during the Lenten season, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.”
Easter Is a Big Holiday for Candy
“Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America after Halloween. Among the most popular sweet treats associated with this day are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe.”
“The largest Easter egg ever made was over 25 feet high and weighed over 8,000 pounds. It was built out of chocolate and marshmallow and supported by an internal steel frame.”
Jellybeans Sort of Look Like Eggs
“Another egg-shaped candy, the jellybean, became associated with Easter in the 1930s. According to the National Confectioners Association, over 16 billion jellybeans are made in the U.S. each year for Easter, enough to fill a giant egg measuring 89 feet high and 60 feet wide.”
I Don’t Give a Peep About Peeps
For the past decade, the top-selling non-chocolate Easter candy has been the marshmallow Peep, a sugary, pastel-colored confection shaped like a baby chick. While I am not captivated by these popular Peeps, obviously children are.
While all of this history might be interesting to adults, we have already lost the interest of the children. More to their liking is the Easter egg hunts scheduled that are designed with the little ones in mind. Sponsors of local events have been slow to announce Easter plans as we are emerging from the pandemic, but here are some that might interest you:
April 11, 2022, Easter Egg Dive
Join Surf ‘n Swim and Family Recreation in Layton at the Annual Easter Egg Dive. Enjoy searching for Easter Eggs in the pool and playing games on the pool deck. Price includes entry for open wave following the dive. Eggs are dropped in the pool at different depths according to age. Registration is limited to 250 participants. Register here.
Easter Egg Dash in North Salt Lake
Join us with baskets in hand on April 16th at 9:00 am. This is a great family event for kids 12 and under as well as special needs! Bring your own basket or bag, and don’t be late! April 16 at Hatch Park 50 West Center Street at 9 a.m. This event is free.
Easter Brunch Buffet at Snow Basin
Celebrate Easter with a delicious buffet in the ambiance of Earl’s Lodge. Join us from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm on Sunday, April 17th. Indulge in the culinary expertise Snow Basin has to offer where chefs will be available at stations to make your food fresh to your liking.
These stations include eggs benedicts, omelets, crepes, and freshly carved meats. Don’t forget to save room for dessert! Reservations are required. Click here for details.
Easter Egg Hunt in Centerville
April 16 is the date for the Centerville Easter Egg Hunt. at 9 a.m. at the City Offices.
Easter Egg Hunt and Breakfast at Fairfield Village in Layton
Bring your basket & join in on our Easter Egg Hunt & Continental Breakfast at 10 a.m. at Fairfield Village (1205 North Fairfield Road). The Easter Bunny will bring eggs and prizes. Enjoy celebrating with family and friends. Everyone is welcome.
Easter is a time of worship
Attend a church of your choice on Easter Sunday. Express gratitude for the Savior in your life and in the lives of your family. Learn about Him and what he has done for us.