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UK supermarkets selling chocolate Easter Eggs

9 cracking facts about Easter Eggs

Everyone loves Easter Eggs but do you know where the tradition comes from and how much the most expensive egg ever costs? It's time to find out.

Image Credit: RichartPhotos / | Above: UK supermarkets selling chocolate Easter Eggs

Most of us would happily admit that our favourite thing about the Easter period is the treats, especially the chocolate eggs. Easter eggs are an integral part of the whole holiday and ensure our youngest family members have a fun and fulfilling time. Here we’re exploring some fun and lesser-known facts relating to the most popular Easter treat.

1. The earliest Easter Eggs weren’t chocolate

Eggs have always been a symbol of new life and rebirth and the Springtime celebrations at Easter meant eggs quickly became associated with this time. Eggs were one of the foods Christians were not allowed to eat during Lent, so an egg on Easter Sunday became a real treat for everyone to enjoy. Lots of superstitions came about surrounding eggs at Easter, including the belief that eggs laid on Good Friday may turn to diamonds if kept for 100 years and that a two-yolk egg was a symbol of good fortune.

When the eggs did eventually become sweeter treats, they began as cardboard cutouts filled with little cakes and snacks before fully chocolate eggs became available in the 19th century.

2. The tradition of painted eggs comes from Ukraine

The tradition of painting and dyeing eggshells is known as Pysanka and comes from traditional Ukrainian celebrations. Painting eggs became popular in England in the 13th century as King Edward I ordered 450 eggs should be coloured and decorated with gold leaf to present as gifts in the royal household.

In Christian traditions, eggs were dyed red to symbolise the blood of Christ. The earliest coloured eggs were dyed with natural substances such as flower petals, juices and even onion skins.

3. Fry’s produced the first UK Easter Egg

While France and Germany were enjoying Easter Eggs before us in the UK, the first chocolate egg to be crafted over here was made by J.S. Fry and Sons in 1873. Cadbury had been making chocolate from the 1840s but did not produce an Easter Egg until 1875.

4. The ‘crocodile-skin’ texture of Easter Eggs comes from Germany

Traditional Easter Eggs have a raised, bumpy texture to their surface, a little like crocodile skin. This texture was first created in Germany and originally developed to help hide any imperfections, cracks or issues with the egg’s surface.

5. The largest Easter Egg on record weighed 7,200kg

The Guinness Book of Records lists an Italian Easter Egg as the largest ever made. The egg, which stood in a shopping centre in Cortenuova, Lombardy, was over 10m tall and 7,200kg in weight, making it taller than a giraffe and heavier than an elephant.

6. The most expensive Easter egg on record sold for almost £9 million

An Easter Egg completely covered in diamonds sold for nearly £9 million in 2007. The egg was said to look like a mixture between a Damien Hirst artwork (think of his diamond skulls) and a classic Faberge egg. The egg was particularly eye-catching due to an internal mechanism which saw a cockerel made of jewels pop up from the top, nod, flap its wings and crow.

7. The average child receives 8.8 eggs in the UK

Consumer spending during holiday periods can always get a little out of hand and Easter is no exception. Estimates suggest we eat between 80 and 90 million chocolate Easter Eggs each year and consumers may spend as much as £415 million.

The average child receives 8.8 eggs each and the benefits of Easter to the UK economy are quite significant when you consider all that chocolate.

8. Sunday morning is prime Easter Egg time

Once you’ve received your Easter Eggs it can be hard to wait, especially as a child. One survey found that 43% of children eat their first Easter Egg before Easter Sunday itself. However, the average time for children to eat their first egg is actually 11am on Easter Sunday. Once that first egg is opened, many others undoubtedly follow.

9. Annual Crème Egg production is taller than 10 Mount Everests

Crème Eggs are one of the most popular Easter treats and one of the most successful Cadbury creations. The first Crème Eggs were sold in 1923 and developed into the style we know and love today in the 1970s.

They are said to produce over 1.5 million Crème Eggs every day. Enough eggs are made every year to make a pile 10 times higher than Mount Everest if they were all stacked upon each other.