The Evolution of Easter
The origin of Easter: from Pagan festivals and Christianity to bunnies, chocolate eggs and hot cross buns.
Eggs have been associated with the Christian festival of Easter, since the early days of the church. However, Christian customs connected with Easter eggs are to some extent adaptations of ancient pagan practices. The egg had long been a pagan symbol of 'rebirth' or 'the beginning'. In Egyptian mythology, the phoenix burns its nest to be reborn later from the egg that is left, and Hindu scriptures relate that the world originally developed from a single egg. In the 19th century, the sharing of eggs was a common practice during the start of spring celebrations, though they may not have been quite as colourful or made of chocolate. Today the Christian holiday has evolved for many to be all about chocolate eggs and egg hunts, which is celebrated all around the world.
Interestingly while Australia is one of the most secular countries in the world, we love Easter and we love chocolate. Though not being number one in the world at chocolate consumption, Australians are the number one consumers of Easter eggs in the world (GoodFood) and this year we are expected to spend close to $210 million on chocolate in the lead up to Easter! (Kochies – 2018). In fact we love Easter so much that we saw the first hot cross buns hit our supermarket shelves as early as January, closely followed by Easter eggs just a few weeks later, so we’ve had plenty of time to stock up.
Personally, we have no objection to hot cross buns and chocolate every day of the year. Whether your celebration is Christian or personal, enjoy your Easter break and eat as many hot cross buns and chocolates as you desire!