Easter, a celebration of the arrival of spring, is commonly symbolised by doves and, above all, Easter eggs. Delicious Easter chocolate and its hidden surprises is truly hard to resist, both for kids and adults!
But where does this tradition came from? Everything starts with the ancient custom of giving eggs. Let’s discover how.
Giving eggs: a sacred tradition
Eggs have always been considered a symbol of life. In ancient myths, Heaven and Earth were two parts, two hemispheres, shaped together as a whole egg. Ancient Egyptians considered the cosmic egg as the very soul of the four elements: fire, earth, water and air. During the spring Persians used to offer each other decorated (chicken) eggs. Egyptians and Greeks followed this tradition too. Some clay eggs discovered in a Russian sepulchre tell us the history of eggs in the ancient times. The same custom can be found in Sweden. For Catholicism eggs are a symbol of life and are considered a representation of the Resurrection of Christ. Inside an egg there’s a new life, ready for rebirth.
Before the introduction of the Easter Egg as we know it hen’s eggs were boiled with flowers and bright-coloured vegetables in order to become a decoration. In the Middle Ages eggs were covered with gold and silver as a precious gift for nobles. It’s reported that Edward I, King of England, requested that 400 eggs to be gold-leafed and decorated as a special celebration of Easter.
Egg as a gift
The goldsmith Peter Carl Fabergé in 1883 created the platinum-enamelled egg containing another golden egg, a reproduction of the crown and a golden chick. Thr tradition of putting a surprise in the egg starts from here.
The first chocolate eggs
Louis XIV of France, in the Eighteenth Century, was probably the first to ask for chocolate eggs from his maître chocolatier David Chaillou. Others trace back the origin of this tradition to ancient America, from where cocoa originates. What we know for sure is that the tradition was already present in Europe – above all throughout France and Germany – in the nineteenth century. The difference between now and then? Eggs were filled with chocolate!