25 Things You Might Not Know About Easter

Easter is here and people all around the world are getting ready to celebrate. It is widely considered the most important Christian holiday and celebrates Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead, three days after he was crucified. It’s also a fun holiday for families filled with Egg hunts, candy, and of course the Easter Bunny. How many facts do you know about this holy period, though? If your answer is “not much” then the following list will help you learn a few new things, or, in case you knew them already, help you refresh your memory. We present to you 25 things you might not know about Easter.

25

Coloring eggs became high art when medieval English kings dispersed hundreds of decorated, gold-leafed eggs throughout the royal household at Easter.

coloring eggs
24

The word Easter comes from a goddess. Her name was Eostre, and she was the mother goddess of the Saxons of Northern Europe. She was, according to Grimm (yes, one of those Grimms), “goddess of the growing light of spring.”

Easter
23

Pity the poor Marshmallow Peep! One of the most popular Easter candy, It has been subject to blending, microwaving, and bludgeoning all in the name of fun or weird science.

Marshmallow Peeps
22

The largest decorated Easter egg was made in Alcochete, Portugal, in 2008, measuring more than forty-eight feet long and a little more than twenty-seven feet in diameter.

World's Largest Decorated Easter Egg
21

The Easter egg toss dates back to the medieval Church, where a hard-boiled egg was thrown by one choir boy to the next. When the priest called “time up” whoever held it got to keep the egg.

Medieval Church
20

While Easter remains a movable feast, the official observance of National Jelly Bean Day takes place every year on April 22nd, which is also Earth Day.

National Jelly Bean Day
19

According to the Guinness Book of World Records the largest Easter egg ever made was unveiled in Cortenuova, Italy, in 2011, weighing in at 8,968 pounds of dark chocolate and marshmallow.

World's Largest Easter Egg
18

If you find a double-yolked egg on Easter, it is a sign of good luck.

double-yolked egg
17

Presidents of the United States and their families have been celebrating the White House Easter Egg Roll since 1878.

The White House Easter Egg Roll
16

Each year, candy manufacturers produce more than ninety million chocolate Easter bunnies. Meanwhile, research shows that solid chocolate bunnies are the most popular followed by hollow chocolate bunnies and marshmallow chocolate bunnies.

chocolate Easter bunnies
15

Various studies have shown that nearly seventy-six percent of Americans will eat the ears on chocolate bunnies first.

chocolate Easter bunnies ears
14

Easter and Passover account for close to fifteen percent of annual floral purchases made throughout the year in the United States.

Flowers
13

At dawn on Easter Sunday, the spits are set to work and grills are fired up in Greece. The customary main attraction of the day is whole roasted lamb or goat to represent the Lamb of God; however, many prefer oven and stovetop lamb or kid dishes. Ovens are filled with traditional accompaniments and all the trimmings. Great Greek wines, ouzo, and other drinks flow freely, and preparations for the meal turn into festive celebrations even before the eating begins. These high-spirited gatherings often last long into the night.

roasted lamb
12

Some churches still keep up the old tradition of using evergreens—a symbol of eternal life—embroidered in red on white, or woven in straw, but most now prefer displays of flowers in the spring colors of green, yellow, and white.

evergreen
11

In 2007, an Easter egg covered in diamonds sold for almost £9 million ($13,4 million). Every hour, a cockerel made of jewels pops up from the top of the Fabergé egg, flaps its wings four times, nods its head three times, and makes a crowing noise. The gold-and-pink enamel egg was made by the Russian royal family as an engagement gift for French aristocrat Baron Edouard de Rothschild.

Easter egg covered in diamonds
10

Easter is not only a movable holiday but a multiple one: in most years Western Christian churches and Eastern Orthodox churches celebrate Easter on different dates. In 2015, for example, Easter will be celebrated on April 5 by Western churches and April 12 by Orthodox churches. But in 2014, the two celebrations occurred on the same date, April 20.

Easter Mass in Vatican
9

The formula for Easter—“the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the vernal equinox”—is identical for both Western and Orthodox Easters, but the churches base the dates on different calendars: Western churches use the Gregorian calendar, the standard calendar for much of the world, and Orthodox churches use the older Julian calendar.

Julian calendar
8

Eggs were dyed with natural dyes once upon a time. Before we had those little colored tablets to color our Easter eggs, they were dyed with plants and herbs. Red onion skins yield a soft violet color, carrots produce yellow eggs, and cherry juice gives us red eggs. The Ukrainian word for the art of egg coloring is pysanka.

Pysanka
7

In England, doors and windows were opened on Easter Sunday so that the sun could drive out any evil within. If it rains on Easter morning, so the lore says, it will rain the next seven Sundays.

Sunny day
6

In 1883 Czar Alexander was responsible for commissioning the famous Fabergé egg—made by goldsmith Peter Carl Fabergé—as an Easter gift for his wife, the Empress Marie.

Fabergé egg
5

Hot cross buns come from the wheat cakes that were baked in honor of Eostre. As part of the adoption of traditions, Christians added the cross on top and had the cakes blessed by the Church. In England, it was believed that hanging a hot cross bun in a house would protect the house from fire and bring good luck for the coming year.

Hot Cross buns
4

Members of the Greek Orthodox faith often paint their Easter eggs red, symbolizing Jesus’s blood and his victory over death. The color red is symbolic of renewal, and as such, Jesus's resurrection.

Red Easter Eggs
3

In case you’ve wondered why the most popular flower for decorating church altars at Easter is the white trumpet lily, keep in mind that according to Christianity it symbolizes grace, purity, and virtue. In addition to decorating churches, lilies account for more than half of all Easter gift plants purchased for the holiday followed by azaleas and African violets.

white trumpet lily
2

During the nineteenth century Easter eggs were used as birth certificates. Apparently, back then many families were unable to get to the closest town hall to file a birth certificate, so an egg would be accepted as a method of identification. The egg would be dyed and inscribed with the person’s name and birth date. It was completely legal and accepted by the courts and other authorities.

Birth Certificate
1

During the nineteenth century, women who attended Easter services at St. Patrick’s Cathedral strolled up Fifth Avenue showing off their new Easter bonnets. This is how we ended up with the Easter Parade.

Easter Parade


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