I love Cadbury Creme Eggs, and I am not alone, 2,294,234 people have ‘liked’ the Facebook page set up in honour of the Egg and you can have hours of fun playing the Goo Games online. So imagine my delight when I came into work this morning to find that the Easter Bunny had left me not one, but two Cadbury Creme Eggs. Now I have been abstaining from chocolate for lent so I shall have to wait till Sunday before devouring the eggs.
Eggs have actually have been associated with Easter, since the early days of the church. However, Christian customs connected with Easter eggs are to some extent adaptations of ancient pagan practices related to spring rites, as with many Christian customs. The egg has long been a symbol of ‘fertility’, ‘rebirth’ and ‘the beginning’, hence the connection to the resurrection of Christ, which is after all what Easter is all about – yeah right.
In Egyptian mythology, the phoenix burns its nest to be reborn later from the egg that is left behind and Hindu scriptures relate that the world developed from an egg.
Anyway, back to the important stuff, the earliest Easter eggs were hen or duck eggs decorated at in bright colours with vegetable dye and charcoal, I remember decorating egg shells as a child at school, do kids still do that? The 17th and 18th centuries saw the manufacture of egg-shaped toys, which were given to children at Easter. These toys were what inspired Carl Fabergé to create his famous jewelled encrusted eggs for the Russian Czar and Czarina.
Chocolate Easter eggs were first made in Europe in the early 19th century. Back then some eggs were solid (oh imagine the joy of eating one of those). And filled eggs were first manufactured by the Cadbury Brothers in 1923, the Creme Egg in its current form was not introduced until 1963. Initially sold as Fry’s Creme Eggs, they were renamed “Cadbury’s Creme Eggs” in 1971 the year I was born, so naturally I was bound to have a fondness for them…