Not only is it the first few weeks of Spring, but it’s also Easter time. We’re talking beautiful weather, delicious food, and colorful decorations inside and out.
The Legend of the Easter Bunny
The Easter bunny has its origin in pre-Christian fertility lore. The Hare and the Rabbit were the most fertile animals known and they served as symbols of the new life during the Spring season.
The bunny as an Easter symbol seems to have its origins in Germany, where it was first mentioned in German writings in the 1500s. The first edible Easter bunnies were made in Germany during the early 1800s. And were made of pastry and sugar.
The Easter bunny was introduced to American folklore by the German settlers who arrived in the Pennsylvania Dutch country during the 1700s. The arrival of the“Oschter Haws” was considered “childhood’s greatest pleasure” next to a visit from Christ-Kindel on Christmas Eve. The children believed that if they were good the “Oschter Haws” would lay a nest of colored eggs. The children would build their nest in a secluded place in the home, the barn or the garden. Boys would use their caps and girls their bonnets to make the nests . The use of elaborate Easter baskets would come later as the tradition of the Easter bunny spread throughout the country.
Fun Facts About Easter
1) 95 percent of the world’s Easter Lilies are produced by just ten growers along the California-Oregon border? Known as the Easter Lily Capital of the World, this area sees more than 15 million lily bulbs planted each year to meet the Easter demand.
2) Americans eat more candy at Easter than at any other holiday besides Halloween? An average of seven billion pounds of candy is consumed over Easter weekend. Sales of Easter candy top nearly $2 billion; in contrast, just over $1 billion of candy is sold for Valentine’s Day.
3) The most popular Easter confection is MarshmallowPeeps? More than 700 million of these chick, bunny and egg-shaped marshmallows are purchased every year. A meager 90 million chocolate bunnies are consumed. At peak production, over four million Marshmallow Peeps can be made each day.
4) Eating Easter candy is a relatively modern tradition? The first chocolate eggs, for example, were made in Europe in the 1800s. And Marshmallow Peeps, produced by the Russian-born U.S. confectioner Sam Born, didn’t get their start until the 1950s in the United States.
5) The most popular treat to hide inside an Easter egg is jellybeans? Americans consume more than 16 billion of them at Easter — enough to circle the circumference of the globe three times!
6) Over one billion Easter eggs are hunted every year in America? The most popular (or at least the most televised) Easter egg hunt is the one held at the White House. President Hayes hosted the first White House egg hunt in 1878, launching a tradition that has continued to this day.
7) Ham is the most commonly served meat at Easter dinners in America? The tradition has its roots in Northern Europe, where, in the days before refrigeration, hogs were slaughtered in the fall. They were then cured for seven months and ready to eat just in time for Easter. If you aren’t a fan of the other white meat, turkey and lamb are also popular choices for Easter dinner. Try these fun Easter Recipes from Umpqua Dairy. Easter Recipes
From our Umpqua Dairy family to yours, Hoppy Easter!