Easter – Our Egg-Cellent History Guide

Easter – Our Egg-Cellent History Guide

Pattaya Eating Out Cover April 2019Many cherished Easter traditions have been around for centuries, but you won’t find any in Pattaya or in the Bible.

With less than 1% of the Thai population being Christian it’s no surprise to find out that Easter isn’t widely celebrated in Thailand, so here’s a brief history lesson.

The most prominent secular symbol of the Christian holiday, the Easter bunny reportedly was introduced to America by the German immigrants who brought over their stories of an egg-laying hare. The decoration of eggs is believed to date back to at least the 13th century, while the rite of the Easter parade has even older roots. Other traditions, such as the consumption of Easter candy, are among the modern additions to the celebration of this early springtime holiday.

The Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated eggs to well-behaved children on Easter Sunday; nevertheless, the Easter bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity’s most important holiday. The exact origins of this mythical mammal are unclear, but rabbits, known to be prolific procreators, are an ancient symbol of fertility and new life. According to some sources, the Easter bunny first arrived in America in the 1700’s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania and transported their tradition of an egg-laying hare called ‘Osterhase’. Their children made nests in which this creature could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across America and the fabled rabbit’s Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candy and gifts, while decorated baskets replaced nests. Additionally, children often left out carrots for the bunny in case he got hungry from all his hopping.

The largest Easter egg ever made was over 8m high and weighed over 3,600kg (3.6 tonnes). It was built out of choclate and marshmallow and supported by an internal steel frame. Willy Wonka sure would be proud of this engineering feat.

Easter is a religious holiday, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, are likely linked to pagan traditions. The egg, an ancient symbol of new life, has been associated with pagan festivals celebrating spring. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus’ emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century, according to some sources. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during Lent, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. In America, the White House Easter Egg Roll, a race in which children push decorated, hard-boiled eggs across the White House lawn, is an annual event held the Monday after Easter. The first official White House egg roll occurred in 1878, when Rutherford B. Hayes was president.

Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America, after Halloween. Among the most popular sweet treats associated with this day are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe. Eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus’ resurrection.

Another egg-shaped candy, the jelly bean, became associated with Easter in the 1930s (although the jelly bean’s origins reportedly date all the way back to a Biblical-era concoction called a Turkish Delight). According to the National Confectioners Association, over 16 billion jelly beans are made in America each year for Easter, enough to fill a giant egg measuring 27m high and 18m wide.

While Easter is not celebrated in Thailand, you’ll be able to find chocolate eggs at several expat supmarkets in and around Pattaya. Villa Market, Foodland, along with Siamburi’s and Siam Expat foods, are most likely to have some stock.