Easter is hopping down the bunny trail faster than the renowned rapid hare, with all of its beautiful eggs, scrumptious ham feast, and cheerful baskets. The Christian celebration falls on April 17 this year, so mark your calendars if you haven’t already.
While many of us are familiar with the fundamental story of Jesus’ death and resurrection, there are many of us who are unaware of the unique customs and important symbolism that surround this holy Sunday.
A day that began as a solely religious observation, like Christmas and, to some extent, St. Patrick’s Day and Valentine’s Day, has taken on a lot of secular meaning, and many people who aren’t regular churchgoers enjoy other aspects of the festivities as well.
The event has grown throughout the years with a wide array of new and old rituals, including beautiful bunny rabbits, spring-forward decorations, and copious amounts of chocolate.
Take a time to learn about the rich history of Easter, including its special dishes, strange superstitions, and symbolism, before you settle down for a lovely brunch or join the kids for some fun Easter crafts.
Perhaps they’ll be good fuel for conversation, intelligent Instagram posts, or perhaps a factoid card placed into Easter baskets this year to give them a little something extra.
This Easter trivia will impress your family and friends with the little-known roots of some of your favorite customs, no matter how you utilize them.
1. Easter Baskets Have a Unique Meaning.
The woven treat containers, especially when packed to the capacity with eggs, resemble bird’s nests and fresh life. Plus, they’re a fairly practical method to collect those Easter egg hunt spoils.
2. You Presumably Eat Ham for Easter Supper for a Reason.
Because Easter has its roots in Jewish Passover, most early Easter celebrants would have eaten lamb on this particular occasion. However, due to the time of the festival, many American Easter dinners now contain ham instead. Years ago, cured hams would have been ready to eat in the early spring after being cured over the winter months.
3. Two Significant Easter Motifs
These lovely blooms originated in Japan and made their way to England in the late 1800s. After World War I, the United States became aware of the pattern. The transformation from inert bulbs to beautiful flowers conjures us images of hope and rebirth, two significant Easter motifs.
4. Easter Eggs Date Back to the Middle Ages.
Do you consider Easter egg hunts to be a bizarre tradition? Listen to this children’s medieval game: A priest would deliver a hard-boiled egg to one of the choir boys, and the boys would pass it around until the clock struck midnight, at which point whoever was holding it got to eat it. At the very least, we hope they got some salt and pepper to go with it.
5. Easter outfits were once thought to bring good fortune.
It was once thought that if you dressed up for Easter, you’d have good luck for the rest of the year. In fact, it was widely assumed that upper-class New Yorkers would practically strut their stuff as they left well-heeled midtown churches after attending Easter mass. This custom became the foundation for New York’s present Easter Parade and Easter Bonnet Festival, which are significantly less elite.
6. Easter eggs have been around since before Easter.
Easter eggs are thought to have originated in Medieval Europe, and Christians may not have been the ones who started the ritual of delivering eggs. In many cultures around the world, they are a symbol of fertility and rebirth.
7. Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess, provided the inspiration for the celebration.
Easter is thought to have been called after a celebration honoring Eostre and the arrival of spring, according to scholars. The hare and the egg were supposed to be her sacred symbols, which is why they feature heavily in Easter symbolism as well.
8. Eggs Are Colored to Represent Jesus Christ’s Blood.
At the very least, this could be one of the explanations, which can be traced back to early Christians in Mesopotamia. Although there is no definite reason for the tradition, this is one of the possibilities. They’re also attractive, and youngsters are more likely to eat a colorful hard-boiled egg than an uncolored one.
9. Only 12 States Recognize Good Friday as a Holiday.
Good Friday, which falls two days before Easter Sunday, remembers Jesus Christ’s crucifixion but is not a government holiday. Only a few states, including New Jersey, North Carolina, and Tennessee, officially observe it.
10. In 2020, 77 Percent of Adults in the United States Observed the Holiday.
According to the National Retail Federation, around half of those preferred to celebrate with a holiday dinner, while a third chose to visit family and friends digitally. Many more people are likely to don their Easter bonnets for real-life celebrations this year.
11. Germany Is Responsible for the Bunny.
The tradition of the Easter bunny giving sweets and eggs dates back to the Middle Ages in Germany, with the oldest written reference of it coming from the 16th century. The bunny was brought to the United States by Dutch settlers in Pennsylvania in the 1700s, and the rest is delectable history.
12. Easter and Halloween Are the Two Holidays With the Most Sweets Sales.
Every year, the two holidays compete for the biggest confectionery sales. In fact, some years, individuals buy more candy the week before Easter than the week before Halloween, but this is due to the fact that Halloween sales are spread out over the month leading up to the frightening evening.
13. During Easter, Around 1.5 Million Peeps Are Consumed in the United States.
As a result, these bright marshmallows are the most popular non-chocolate Easter treat. The facility in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, produces 5.5 million per day. This year, make them even more delicious by dipping them in melted chocolate.
14. One Peep Took 27 Hours to Create in 1953.
That was when they were still relatively new to the market and were created by hand with a pastry tube. But don’t worry, it only takes six minutes now, due to The Depositor, a one-of-a-kind machine that makes the instantly recognized shape.
15. Every Day, More Than 1.5 Million Cadbury Creme Eggs Are Produced.
Even more amazing is the fact that the Bournville facility in Birmingham, England, produces 500 million cream-filled eggs annually. If you stacked all those eggs on top of one another, you’d end up with a tower bigger than Mt. Everest. What an incredible egg hunt.
16. During Easter, Nearly 16 Million Jelly Beans Are Consumed in the United States.
That’s enough jelly beans to round the globe three times — or to fill a nine-story building’s worth of plastic eggs. We can’t imagine today without them, as they were first presented as an Easter treat in the 1930s.
17. For Easter, Around 90 Million Chocolate Bunnies Are Sold.
It’s understandable, given that $2.6 billion is spent on candy alone during this holy and secular spring festival. That’s only in the United States, by the way. Most of those people, we’re sure, have strong feelings about whether they should eat their tail or their ears first.
18. Surprisingly, 59 Percent of People Start With the Ears.
Only a few begin with the feet or tail, and the rest appear to be without a strategy. If that describes you, consider this your motivation to think about it before you (or the kids) start cooking.
19. The Easter Egg Roll at the White House Began in 1878.
President Rutherford B. Hayes is claimed to have been out walking when youngsters approached him and inquired about an Easter egg roll. He thought it was a great idea, and it’s become one of the most adorable annual White House events ever since.
20. Pretzels Were Once Thought to Be Associated With Easter.
Why? Because the twists in this salty snack look like crossed arms in prayer. Because life is all about balance, we believe it’s time to bring this savory snack back to the sweets-filled holiday.