This is a centuries-old German tradition, known as Ostereierbaum, or Easter Egg Tree. Eggs are hung outside on trees and bushes. The custom spread beyond Europe, and now many homes throughout the world have an indoor Easter Tree, dressed with eggs of all kinds. Some are beautifully handpainted, others are real eggs which have been carefully blown then decorated.
But why eggs? Throughout the world, the egg is an ancient symbol of new life. For Christians, the egg is a symbol of Jesus rising from the dead, as he emerges from the tomb, rolling away the egg-shaped rock.
Easter always takes place in Spring, when there’s a ready supply of hens’ eggs. In the past, parents would hardboil their glut of eggs and decorate them in bright colours to give to their children on Easter Sunday. The first chocolate Easter Eggs were made in Europe in the early 19th century.
The first Cadbury Easter Eggs were made in 1875. They were made of ‘dark’ chocolate and filled with sugar coated chocolate drops. The Cadbury Creme Egg first appeared in 1923. Approximately 500 million are made each year, though over a third are exported.
If all the Cadbury Creme Eggs made in a year were stacked on top of each other, the pile would be 10 times higher than Mount Everest!
Over 80 million boxed Easter Eggs are sold in the UK each year.