First of all – Happy Easter folks! I hope you got that Easter Egg from your friend/partner/parents that you’ve been eyeing up for weeks in the supermarket during your weekly shop. I’m ditching the usual entertainment blog this week for something a little different, and what better to focus on than Easter, and chocolate.
But Easter isn’t just about the chocolate – for many it’s a great way to spend time with family, celebrate the arrival of spring and to attend church services. For those of you who don’t know, and to jog the memory of those who do; Easter is a 2,000-year-old Christian holiday that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Now, not that I’m complaining because I love chocolate, but I’m not exactly sure how we got from a resurrection to chocolate eggs. So I decided to dig a little deeper to see exactly how the chocolate tradition came about.
Way back when, in the early Christian Mesopotamian days, they used dyed eggs in the period after Easter. This became tradition when the Orthodox church took on this practice and it then spread throughout the Western world.
According to English Heritage, “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. In Devon and Cornwall, people used to play a game like conkers with their eggs, hitting them against each other until one of them cracked.”
The modern-day traditions come from the 17th-century folkloric Osterhase, a German egg-laying hare (yes, very weird I know). Originally played the role of ‘Easter Santa’, determining which children were on the “naughty or nice” list. The Osterhase carried coloured eggs and sweet treats in its basket, to take to the homes of children. Moving onto the 19th century, chocolatiers in France and Germany cottoned onto the popularity of the gift-giving custom, but they were bitter and solid – nothing like their sweet, hollow counterparts of today.
As well as today being Easter Sunday, there are also a few other quirky days of international celebration, which I’m going to share with you – and one of them is RIGHT up my street!
First up is “International Bat Appreciation Day” – why not have a Batman movie marathon to celebrate our flying friends. Then we have “International Haiku Poetry Day”;
Haiku Day is here
April breeze, warm and gentle
And onto the best one of all – National Cheese Ball Day (US). Although this is a United States celebration, I think I’m going to have to introduce this into the UK because this sounds like a bit of me!
So whatever you’re celebrating today; be it Easter, an international day of celebration, a birthday or another special occasion, then I hope you have the most amazing day! And as always…
Ciao for now, Otti x