Easter is a time for renewal and rebirth. The trees are growing buds, flowers are splashing the landscape with vibrant colors and the whole world feels like it's waking up. People are just happy. It's also the time for a visit from the famous bunny and his loads of Easter candy -- which makes people even happier.
But contrary to what this spring-time holiday may lead you to believe, bunnies don't lay eggs. And they certainly have nothing to do with the production of chocolate eggs. And while many of us are used to -- even love -- the idea that rabbits and eggs come together to bring us sweet treats, in nature, they just don't. So, how is it that the Easter Bunny came to deliver chocolate eggs?
The origin of these two Easter symbols date back hundreds of years and have evolved dramatically over time. The Easter Bunny and Easter eggs began as two separate symbols for the same thing: fertility. And they were used to celebrate the coming of spring. Rabbits tend to breed the most during the spring (as most creatures do) and are remarkably prolific procreators. This made these furry creatures a natural representation of fertility. Over time, the symbol of the rabbit transformed into the Easter Bunny, and in some cultures he mythically laid eggs. The Easter Bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and brought their culture of an egg-laying rabbit called "Osterhase."
As for Easter eggs, the exact origin of their link to this holiday is unclear. Some sources say that it's a tradition trickled down from Pagan practices, where eggs were often used as representations of new life and fertility. Others say that its because birds reproduce and lay their eggs in the spring, making them a perfect symbol of this season.
Easter eggs turned chocolate in the 19th century, and were produced mainly in France and Germany. The production of these eggs didn't really take off until Cadbury began mass producing them thanks to the introduction of a pure cocoa. Since then, the production of chocolate eggs (and bunnies) has greatly increased, and Easter is now the second day of the year with the highest sale of candy -- after Halloween, of course.
Despite the origin, we're grateful for all the Easter chocolate and candy -- and we're grateful for the bunny that makes it all happen. So we raise our Cadbury Creme Egg to the Easter Bunny, and we hope you will too.
What is your favorite Easter candy? Leave a comment.
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