History of chocolate Easter Eggs

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Where does Easter come from?
The origins of Easter have their basis in Christianity, but the holiday also has strong connections to pagan times and the celebrations of spring equinox. The holiday’s name is derived from the Saxon goddess of dawn, Eostre who was honored in the pagan spring festivals, which coincided with the timing of the Christian celebrations of the resurrection.

Who put the egg in Easter?
Though the roots of the celebrations are different, many cultures around the world observe spring holidays and festivals centered on the common theme of rebirth and the egg as a symbol of the source of life.

Dyed eggs were shared and eaten at spring festivals in ancient Egypt, Greece, Rome, Persia and China. Gradually these traditions made their way westward and were expressed in various forms – from dyed goose eggs to beautifully decorated paper mâché eggs in the 17th and 18th centuries. In the late 19th and early 20th century the ultimate Easter eggs – the Fabergé eggs made their royal appearance.

Do chocolate eggs come from chocolate chickens?
Actually chocolate eggs come from Europe! Today’s European tradition of giving chocolate Easter eggs as gifts can be traced back to 19th century France and Germany. The first eggs were small and solid and made of a course, bitter dark chocolate. As technology improved and cocoa became more widely available, so did chocolate Easter eggs. The tradition spread to many parts of Europe, often with each country making their own unique mark.

The first mass-produced chocolate egg appeared in England in 1873 when Cadbury debuted their first Easter egg. It wasn’t until the early 1900s that milk chocolate Easter eggs became available. Today’s European Easter eggs are available in dizzying variety – from those found on supermarket shelves to the top quality uber-thick chocolate works of art, beautifully decorated and filled with chocolate surprises from specialty chocolatiers.