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  9. 10 Mind-blowing Facts About Easter

10 Mind-blowing Facts About Easter

Impress Your Friends And Family This Holiday Season


A green decorated egg rests on pink tulips

 

Easter can represent many occasions for different people. To some, it's the first sign of spring. For others, it's a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, which represents the foundation of Christian faith. Want to impress your friends and family this Easter-season with some mind-blowing facts about this widely celebrated holiday? Take a quick look below to see how Easter became the holiday that we celebrate today. 

 


 

10. The Easter Bunny likely first appeared in the United States in the 1700s.

Red Easter eggs sit in a nest

 

It seems that no one is completely certain when the Easter Bunny first showed up. However, the United States' tradition of the hare might date back to German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania in the 1700s. They reportedly celebrated the folktale of a hare named Osterhase or Oschter Haws who happened to lay eggs.

 

The immigrant children continued the tradition in their new home in the States. Their celebration involved making nests for the hare's eggs. Over the years, the children's nests evolved into baskets, and a new tradition was born.

 

9. The Easter Bunny also has pagan roots.

A rabbit with a plant in its mouth

 

Some people believe that the Easter Bunny tradition has pagan roots. Many connect the hare to Eostre, an Anglo-Saxon goddess. One of her symbols? The rabbit, associated in many cultures with fertility. Given that fertility is often linked to themes of birth and renewal, it makes sense that the egg-laying Easter Bunny eventually became connected to the holiday celebrating Jesus Christ's resurrection.

 

8. Decorating eggs is an ancient tradition.

Rainbow-colored Easter eggs in an egg carton

 

Decorating eggs itself isn't a unique practice to this holiday. In fact, the oldest known evidence of egg decorating comes from 60,000-year-old ostrich shells. However, the Easter tradition of dying eggs might have begun with Mesopotamian Christians. There are records of them participating in egg-dying ceremonies; red-dyed eggs came to symbolize the blood of Christ.

 

7. Americans really love Peeps.

A line of yellow duck PEEPS and a line of pink duck PEEPS

 

Americans love Peeps. Like, really love Peeps. In the U.S., it is estimated that 700 million Peeps are devoured every year. In fact, there's enough Peeps made annually to circle the Earth. Twice.

 

6. Peeps used to be handcrafted.

A line of pink bunny PEEPS

 

It's true! People used to make Peeps by hand. It was a lengthy process, too. It could take up to 27 hours from start to finish to complete one of these marshmallows back in the day. This is because, without automation, the original Peeps-makers had to craft them one by one. For reference, it now only takes 6 minutes to complete this task with modern technology.

 

5. Rutherford B. Hayes started the first White House Easter Egg Roll.

Rutherford B. Hayes, 19th President of the United States
Rutherford B. Hayes. Source: Library of Congress

 

 

Most people know that the White House holds an Easter Egg Roll every year. When did this tradition start? In 1878, with President Rutherford B. Hayes. That year, he hosted the first White House Easter Egg Roll, letting local children play on the White House lawn. It's been a tradition ever since.

 

4. Although, World War I halted the White House Easter Egg Roll. . .

Easter egg roll eggs in the White House South lawn in 1929.
1929 White House Easter Egg Roll. Source: Wikipedia

 

 

In 1918, the White House cancelled the Roll due to food rationing for World War I. Eggs during wartime were considered such a precious commodity that officials felt that they couldn't be spared for leisurely pursuits.

 

3. . . . as did World War II.

President Barack Obama cheers on a young child as she rolls her egg toward the finish line Monday, April 13, 2009, during the White House Easter Egg Roll.
2009 White House Easter Egg Roll. Source: Flickr

 

During World War II, rations were back in place. This meant that the White House once again cancelled the Roll in 1943, 1944, and 1945. World War II ended in 1945, but the Roll still didn't happen in either 1946 or 1947. This cancellation was necessary as the U.S. needed to conserve food for the first couple years after the war's end. After that, construction prevented the annual event for several more years. Since 1952, however, the White House Easter Egg Roll has continued.

 

2. Chocolate Easter eggs aren't anything new.

Chocolate Easter eggs

 

Chocolate Easter eggs first appeared in the early 1800s in Europe. Like early Peeps, these chocolates were handcrafted. Cadbury, a now-popular brand for chocolate eggs, originally made these goodies with unsweetened or dark chocolate in the late 19th century. In 1905, Cadbury started making eggs with milk chocolate instead. Cadbury credits this change with making chocolate Easter eggs so popular. Now, chocolate eggs have become a favorite for millions.

 

1. Not all Christian denominations celebrate Easter at the same time.

Icon of Jesus Christ

 

While Christian denominations around the world celebrate Easter, they don't all celebrate it at the same time. Why is that? Well, western Christian denominations use the Gregorian calendar. So for these sects, Easter falls somewhere between March and April. In contrast, Eastern Orthodox Christianity uses the Julian calendar. As a result? The celebration happens a little later, sometime between April and May.