Arguably, the most well-known secular symbol associated with Easter is the Easter Bunny. The seasonal hare was introduced to Americans in the 18th century by German immigrants, though the existence of the “Osterhase” dates back to the 17th century.
We can also thank the Germans for the edible Easter egg, which was first made of sugar and pastry in the 19th century. These eggs were traditionally deposited into the hats and bonnets of young children. Today, the Easter Bunny prefers to bring his own basket. The Easter Bunny is a sign of new life, as are the brightly colored eggs he brings. While the chocolate bunny is the most popular treat to fill Easter baskets, chocolate eggs, marshmallow chicks and jelly beans are also often included.
All About Easter Candy
- The first chocolate eggs were made in Europe in the early 19th century and remain among the most popular treats associated with Easter.
- Easter is the second top-selling confectionery holiday behind Halloween.
- 91 percent of Americans say they’ll share or gift chocolate for Easter.
- 78 percent of people eat the ears on chocolate bunnies first.
All About the Easter Bunny
- German settlers told tales of a white hare who would leave brightly colored eggs for all good children on Easter morning.
- Early American children built nests of leaves and sticks in their gardens for the Easter Hare to fill with colored eggs.
- By the 19th century, the Easter Hare had become the Easter Bunny in America and was known for surprising children with baskets filled with treats on Easter morning.