Happy Easter!

EasterA very happy Easter to you all! I hope the Easter bunny was good to you this year and if you were lucky enough to also get a long weekend, then I hope you enjoyed a nice break. I spent my long weekend relaxing and surprise, surprise, some reading! Which while not that much of a stray from my usual routine (but usually with less relaxing), it was still very nice. Easter Sunday was spent eating too much chocolate which resulted in me feeling slightly ill but as my mother said, “I don’t think it’s Easter without making yourself sick on chocolate” so that makes it ok. Having been going non-stop for months it felt very strange doing almost nothing, even if it was only three days and it made me feel like I hadn’t done anything in weeks which was quite disorientating. I had to remind myself that it had only been three days and the world was not going to come to an end. Today I started busying myself again so while still in long weekend mode I was trying not to get too complacent and fall behind again.

In honour of the Easter long weekend, I thought I would quickly provide you with some Easter Fun Facts because who doesn’t love a good fun fact?

Easter Fun Fact #1

While the bunny was used as early as the 1500s in Germany when discussing Easter, the first mention of the Easter Bunny bringing eggs for Easter was in a book by Georg Frankck von Frankenau in 1680. The book was called “De ovis paschalibus” (About Easter Eggs) and refers to the tradition of bringing eggs to children.

Easter Fun Fact #2

The word Easter dates back to early England and is thought to relate to Ēostre, Pagan goddess of spring and fertility.

Easter Fun Fact #3

The reason the Easter date always changes is because it’s based on the lunar calendar and the position of the moon. Easter is celebrated on the Sunday after the full moon following March 21st. Which sounds like a very complicated way to deal with things.

Easter Fun Fact #4

The first Easter egg was made in 1873 by Fry’s of Bristol. Which you can read more about in my Easter post from last year.

Easter Fun Fact #5

The tradition of giving eggs at Easter has been traced back to Egyptians, Persians, Gauls, Greeks and Romans, for whom the egg was a symbol of life.

So there you go, some nice things you may not have realised about Easter. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend and managed not to get any chocolate on your books!

Easter, Fun Facts, and Chocolate

Easter

Ah Easter. The day of bunnies, chocolate, and refined restraint on eating the entire day’s loot in one sitting. I know for some Easter is a religious weekend but for me it is about chocolate, four day weekends, and…well there isn’t much else. This is the best time of year because this is the only time that the rare and highly sought after Red Tulip chocolate emerges from its hibernation. The chocolate that only is seen around Easter, but when it comes out it will whip Cadbury’s butt any day. My affection for Red Tulip aside, I am not saying Cadbury is bad, but you can get that in many forms all year round, the Red Tulip experience is a once a year delight. Yes, perhaps its rarity makes it seem more delicious than it is…oh wait, my mistake, that’s completely wrong, it’s a godsend. And not those weird Ferrero Rocher ads where those weird nutty chocolate things fell from the gods, no, Red Tulip rabbits of various sizes with pink and blue waistcoats and bow ties should be falling from the sky not those.

Eggs have always been used for Easter because they represent rebirth and the beginning of life. Something which comes with a lot of images of hatched baby chickens and pastel colours as well. The earliest Easter eggs were not the chocolate kind though. They used to just be painted chicken or duck eggs that were dyed various colours with vegetable dye and charcoal. I recall painting a few blown eggs as a kid, though it was more a paintbrush and random squiggles around it with the odd dot or two. I may have only done it once or twice, I wasn’t overly  fussed about it, and what were you supposed to do with them when you’re done? Display them somewhere? I suppose giving them as gifts as was traditional but that didn’t happen.

Away from the painted eggs, the very first chocolate Easter egg was created by the Victorians in Bristol, England in 1873. It was made by a company called Fry, Vaughan & Co. and instead of being the delicious smooth chocolate we have today, it was bitter dark chocolate with a grainy texture. They also most likely would have been decorated by hand with marzipan and given as gifts by the rich. Much too fancy I think, though those Victorians were an extravagant bunch with their chocolate tastes.  

These were the only chocolate eggs until Cadbury tried to make their own Easter egg a couple years later. Cadbury had been making solid eggs since 1842 but were unable to make finer hollow eggs. Cadbury’s first Easter eggs in 1875 were made of dark chocolate with a plain smooth surface and were filled with sugared almonds, but compared with Fry’s it wasn’t as successful. It wasn’t until the launch of Cadbury’s Dairy Milk Chocolate in 1905 that their Easter egg sales improved, and improved tremendously. It was so popular it not only increased the sale of Easter eggs but it also made them a seasonal best seller, something that remains true today. Cadbury merged with Fry’s, Vaughan & Co. in 1919 but still couldn’t produce the quality eggs Fry’s was making. May I say, Cadbury also bought out Red Tulip, along with other companies, in the 80s when they were trying to conquer Australia. Very conquery Cadbury when it comes to other companies and chocolate, very conquery indeed.

So, now you know. While you are all eating delicious chocky eggs, bunnies, bilbys, chickens, or any other chocolate styled thing today you can think that it all started with one Bristol company that brought the Easter egg to the Victorians and subsequently the rest of the world.

Have a wonderful Easter, try not to get melted chocolate on your books, and have a great day!

 

 

 

Happy Easter!

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As I sit here at type this in the wee hours of the morning, the Easter Bunny is pottering around with the basket of eggs. I am being terribly quiet so as not to disturb, I would hate to have my haul revoked for revealing my presence. However I am reminded of how as a child I was not all that keen on the idea of this Bunny delivering things to my room. It was not the chocolate so much (the Humpty Dumpty egg being the joy, and the skill it took to eat all of a rabbit leaving just the thickest, nicest nether region and ears for last), but rather the lack of understanding about the dimensions of this Bunny. Was it a tiny Bunny that pounced delicately through the house, gently placing Humpty at my side, or rather was it the image I summoned, that of a large Bunny that loomed over me and put eggs by my side with its giant paws?

I did find “confirmation” of my theory when I half woke in a sleepy daze to see a dark silhouette standing in my room the night before Easter. This, I concluded, meant the Bunny was big, and that did not sit well with me. I always found it best not to think about how my eggs came to me, I decided if I didn’t think too hard about the Bunny, the Bunny would just potter around, do the job, and potter out again. This worked well for me.

As I have gotten older the Easter Bunny and I have settled our differences (whether the Bunny knew there were any differences remains to be seen, but I have settled my half regardless). Now I see that the Bunny was simple spreading joy, it is hardly the Bunny’s fault that he has more intimate interaction and less grace than Santa, and he is certainly lacking the agility one can expect from a Bunny that size.

Or perhaps, as all mysterious and wonderful things go, that the Easter Bunny does have all the magic of Santa; how else does he know what kinds of chocolate every one likes, and why buying things like Cherry Ripe eggs, or Lindt chocolate is a no no. No, I think if the Easter Bunny knows that all the world needs is some Red Tulip representations of the bunny community, a few Cadbury eggs to show support towards the chicken community, and the occasional Heritage Bilby as consolation for those of us who cannot catch a train through Europe, than that is pretty magical to me.

I hope you all have a wonderful Easter no matter how you choose to celebrate it, and may the Easter Bunny be watching over you.

I think the Easter Bunny is on to me, I must go. Have a great day everyone!

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