Only in quite recent years has Easter been all about chocolate(!). The origins and meaning of this celebration are ancient and related to the concept of new life. Chocolate is but a marketing ploy of modern times, as nice as it is! Here are a few facts about the real meaning of Easter.
- Over the ages the egg has symbolised new life and rebirth. It is the universal symbol of Easter celebrations throughout the world.
- Before it became linked with Christianity, the egg was honoured during many rite-of-Spring festivals – the Romans, Gauls, Chinese and Egyptians all cherished the egg as a symbol of the universe.
- The egg was seen as representative of spring and the rebirth of the earth – it was therefore thought to have special powers and was, for example, buried under the foundations of buildings to ward off evil; French brides stepped on an egg before crossing the threshold of their new homes.
- With the advent of Christianity, the symbolism of the egg changed to represent the rebirth of man.
- Decorating eggs for Easter was a custom by the Middle Ages in England. The accounts for Edward I for the year 1290 record an expenditure of eighteen pence for four hundred and fifty eggs to be gold leafed and coloured for Easter gifts. And obviously, many centuries later, Faberge took that art to new heights.