Below find some information about the role of candy in Easter traditions that we hope you find helpful.
How is the date of Easter set?
- It is the first Sunday after the first full moon which follows the Spring Equinox. The earliest day upon which Easter can fall is March 22, the latest is April 25.
- The eight-day observance of Passover begins on the 15th night of the Jewish month of Nissan, this year, April 3.
- Often, the dates for Easter, as followed by the Eastern Church (Orthodox) differ from the Western Church. That is because the Eastern Church uses the Julian calendar to determine when the Spring Equinox and the full moon occurs, while the Western Church uses the Gregorian calendar. The churches of the west and east typically celebrate Easter on the same date once every three or four years. In other years they are typically one, four or five weeks apart.
Easter Traditions and History
- The first symbol of Easter was a chicken breaking out of its shell representing Christ’s resurrection. Many pagan traditions have found their way into Christian religious observances. Rabbits are one such symbol. Rabbits symbolize the fertility of Springtime. The rabbit is also the symbol of the Egyptian moon, and the moon is used to determine the date of Easter each year.
- The hare (rabbit) is also a very important Easter symbol in Germany, almost as important as Santa Claus is in North America is for Christmas. The hare is responsible for laying eggs and hiding them. This probably evolved from children hunting for Easter eggs and scaring away rabbits which happened to be in the area. The hare and egg provide a link between the pagan faith’s welcoming of Spring and Christianity’s Easter celebration.
- The custom of decorating eggs goes back many thousands of years. When you add a few strokes of icing to the surface of a chocolate Easter egg, you are carrying on an age-old tradition. Long before the Bible was written, the egg was a sacred object and it was ornamented as part of numerous religious and superstitious practices.
- Very probably, most of our own ancestors regarded the egg as a sacred symbol. Numerous races and many religions and creeds venerated the egg. In its name were conducted a great number and variety of sacred and mystic rites.The life hidden within the shell of the egg is mysterious and unknown. Who knows whether the creature that emerges will be good or bad? Therefore, great hopes and prayers are associated with the unborn life that is yet unseen but lies asleep within the egg.
- The word, "Easter” is derived from Eostre or Ostrara – the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn. The festival in her honor was celebrated on the first day of Spring. It was she who changed a bird into a rabbit, and thus this four-footed little creature joined the egg as another Easter symbol. In our Easter baskets we always include delightfully decorated eggs and rabbits. At the beginning of the 19th Century, the first sugar and pastry Easter bunnies became popular in southern Germany.
- Although in North America the religious significance of the egg has almost disappeared, its position has remained as one of the principal symbols of Easter. Children roll them on the White House lawn. Almost every candy, food, drug and chain store throughout the length and breadth of the country sells Easter eggs and rabbits. Usually, they are made of hollow chocolate, but may as well be chocolate covered marshmallow or cream filled nut and fruit. Many are solid chocolate. Decorated with pleasingly colored icing and attractively designed special icing flowers and other sugar and candy ornaments, the effect is a delight to behold.