Dream for a minute about gourmet Easter chocolate. This is what Mom can buy you since your taste is too sophisticated to be satisfied with cheap, hollow chocolate bunnies. Perhaps your spouse will treat you to some rich chocolate because you are so special. Or, at last resort, you can just use the occasion to treat yourself!
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Who needs a holiday for this? But this is a good excuse to give yourself or a special friend a luscious Easter chocolate gift.
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Source: Statistics are from the National Confectioners Association
When you decide to purchase a luscious Easter chocolate gift, see the Chocolate Gifts page for this valuable information:
Easter is defined by the Oxford Concise English Dictionary as “The festival of the Christian Church celebrating the resurrection of Christ, held (in the Western Church) on the first Sunday after the first full moon following the northern spring equinox.”
Easter is defined by The Miriam-Webster Online Dictionary as “A feast that commemorates Christ's resurrection and is observed with variations of date due to different calendars on the first Sunday after the paschal full moon.”
The word “Easter” likely comes from “Eostre” or “Ostrara,” the Anglo-Saxon goddess of the dawn, or from the early German word “eostarun,” which also means “dawn.” These are associated with the many new beginnings of springtime. From ancient times, there were pagan celebrations of spring. Christians began celebrating the resurrection of Jesus in the spring since he was crucified and was resurrected by God during Passover and Passover is celebrated by Jews in the spring. The Last Supper with Jesus and his disciples was a Passover meal. Christian missionaries to Europe incorporated the celebration of the resurrection into the pagan celebration of spring.
The meaning and traditions of Easter are often close to the heart. Adults and children of all ages enjoy spiritual celebration and secular festivities. Enjoy the celebration while learning of the real significance of the day.
Easter is the Christian spiritual celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ after being crucified. Two prominent symbols are the cross, the symbol of Jesus’ crucifixion, and the empty tomb, the symbol of his resurrection from the dead.
Eggs and rabbits are two prominent symbols associated with the ancient celebration of spring and in modern times the Christian and secular symbols are often mixed together.
Decorating eggs is a custom that goes back many thousands of years. The egg has been a sacred object symbolizing new life from ancient times and it was ornamented as part of numerous religious practices. In more modern times, a tradition is to put icing on a chocolate Easter egg.
The candy egg has remained a principal symbol of Easter to the delight of children everywhere. Usually they are made of hollow chocolate but there are variations filled with marshmallow or with cream with nuts and fruits. Many are solid chocolate and decorated with colored icing with fancy designs made into flowers and other candy and sugar ornaments on the chocolate.
Rabbits, because of their multiple offspring, symbolize new beginnings, new birth and fertility associated with springtime. The rabbit is very important in German tradition because the hare lays the eggs and hides them.
Easter was not celebrated much in American until shortly after the Civil War in the 1860's. Now it is a major Christian festival of the year. Nearly all Christians in the United States attend a worship service, and often gather together with family, if possible, for a special dinner with dessert cakes and candy treats for the children. On Easter morning, the children enjoy hunting for candy Easter eggs or hard-boiled eggs with decorated shells that are hidden throughout the house or outside in the yard by their parents.
The Jewish Passover, like the Christian Easter, is celebrated in the spring. The Sedar is a traditional meal celebrated in Jewish homes on the first day of Passover, an annual remembrance of God delivering the Hebrew people from slavery in Egypt. To accommodate the secular tradition, many Sedars end with eating chocolate products that are kosher for Passover. Passover confections often include chocolate bars with nuts, dried fruits and raisins. It has become popular recently to dip unleavened flatbread in chocolate.
When you enjoy the decorated chocolate eggs and rabbits, Easter baskets, or “Passover chocolates,” you are linking with your ancestors to welcome the arrival of spring and the joyous Christian and Jewish festivals of hope, rebirth and deliverance.