When you think about Easter, chocolate bunnies and dyed eggs probably come to mind. There's actually a lot more to the holiday than we tend to acknowledge, since this is another holiday that does of course have Christian origins. Whether you're a devout follower of Easter or just grew up loving the crap out of Easter egg hunts, there are probably some things you don't know about the holiday. Here are 13 fun facts about Easter that are a nice mixture between historical facts and somewhat pointless statistics about candy that you can use to distract your relatives when they start asking you about your dating life. Enjoy!
13 We Eat The Ears First
Of the chocolate bunnies, of course. Thank goodness we have plenty of research to know these very important facts about how we stuff ourselves with refined sugars. A whopping 76 percent of people reportedly eat the ears of their chocolate bunnies first, while five percent start with the feet, and four percent start with the tail. Freaks. These stats don't account for the other 15 percent of chocolate bunny eaters so one can only imagine what they're up to. Smashing the bunny with a hammer and choosing pieces at random? Breaking one in half and sharing it with their bestie? Melting it down turning it into a cocktail? Regifting it to a child?
12 The Tallest Easter Egg Was 27 Feet High
People really love to break records when it comes to food. Naturally, many people have tried to beat the record for tallest chocolate Easter egg, because why not? The current record holder was in Argentina and took the manpower of 27 bakeries. The egg required 8,800 pounds of chocolate to build and ended up standing 27 feet high and 16 feet wide. It required a foundation made from a wooden mold, and then it was built with big blocks of chocolate. It started melting quickly, however, so the team ate it.
11 Each Household Spends $131 Each Year On Easter
Each home in the U.S. spends on average $131 on Easter each year, which totals up to $14.7 billion. To put that in perspective, the average American home reports spending about $150 a week on food, so chocolate for the week it is. Although that's a lot less than people spend on certain other holidays. The average American spends $882 on Christmas gifts, and $75 on Halloween. Our cumulative Halloween spending adds up to $6.9 billion. Valentine's day spending is estimated to be somewhere around $19 billion in the U.S. We sure love our "holidays."
10 Egg Painting Is Actually An Art
Here we are just dipping hard boiled eggs into dye and calling it a day. There is an official egg painting art called pysanka, which comes from the Ukraine. The art uses wax and dye, which doesn't sound too far off from crayons and Easter kits but looks a lot more impressive. The word pysanka comes from the verb pysaty, which means "to write" since the designs are written onto the eggs with the wax before the color part takes place. Supposedly this method of egg decoration dates back to the pre-Christian era, and the decorated eggs had to do with spring rituals.
9 Easter Is Named After A Goddess
According to one story, the word "Easter" comes from the Anglo-Saxon goddess Eastre/Ostara/Oestre, who is a fertility goddess associated with the sacred animal of the rabbit. That's right, the Easter bunny is not totally random or made-up, and it's even sexier than you thought. Her name came from words meaning "dawn", while we named the female hormone estrogen after her. Cute. Eastre had a real passion for new life, which of course is what eggs are, and so the eggs and the bunny became ways of celebrating the goddess and her sweeping in the springtime.
8 People Played Hot Potato With Eggs In Church
At one point, it was supposedly considered fun to play a game of hot potato with hard boiled eggs in church. The priest would toss an egg to one of the choir boys. Thrilling. They could have really stepped things up by using raw eggs, am I right? This is actually still suggested today under the name "resurrection egg pass" which is a way to teach kids about their Christian faith under the guise of fun. Other ideas include the "feet washing relay" to teach about Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.
7 Easter Is The Oldest Christian Holiday
If you keep forgetting that Easter is actually a religious holiday, well, you're not alone. The holiday celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ which is actually between March 21 and April 25, but held from Good Friday through Easter. Good Friday is the Friday before Easter, and while it's important to the more religious folk out there only 12 out of the 50 U.S. states actually recognize it as a holiday, and Easter of course is always on a Sunday, so most of us are totally getting gypped out of a day off that we could be spending eating Easter candy instead of going to work.
6 Pretzels Were Once Part Of Easter
The twisty action of pretzels at one point made people think that they looked like arms crossing in prayer. As one story goes, pretzels were invented in Italy in the year 610. A monk gave out these tasty treats to children who had memorized their prayers. There is zero documentation of this story to confirm its truth, and some say the monk was actually French. We do know that pretzels appeared in the crest of German bakers’ guilds in 1111, and in 16th century Austria parents hid pretzels for their kids to find on Easter, not eggs.
5 Peeps Shine On Easter
Peeps are available to buy all year but no one is buying them then, let's be honest. But at Easter time, Peeps are the second most popular candy in town, after anything chocolate. Americans buy more than 700 million of the marshmallow candies over the holiday. Hey guys, we eat a lot. If you get tired of stuffing Peeps in your mouth, don't worry -- Pinterest has all kinds of gross ideas about how to make them into other things like cakes and cookies. One artist even created a Donald Trump out of Peeps this year, which is as alarming as it sounds.
4 Jelly Beans Get Their Moment, Too
Jelly beans are also really popular on Easter, probably because they sort of look like little eggs but mostly because they fit nicely into the plastic eggs we use for Easter egg hunts without melting everywhere and ruining everyone's life. Americans eat more than 16 million jelly beans over the holiday, which is literally enough jelly beans to circle the entire planet three times. Whoa. Jelly beans have been paired up with Easter since the 1930s, and their original origin is actually a bit of a mystery.
3 The Largest Easter Egg Hunt Was In Florida
In 2007, Florida set the record for the largest Easter egg hunt ever, where 9,753 children gathered to hunt for 501,000 eggs. Sacramento tried to break the record with an Easter egg hunt that offered 510,000 eggs, but they didn't get it on a technicality. According to the official rules of the Guinness World Records, the eggs must arrive three days before the hunt, and in this case they only arrived two days before. Fail.
2 1.5 million Cadbury Creme Eggs Are Produced Every Day
The concept of a Cadbury Creme Egg is a little weird, since the fondant filling is supposed to taste like a raw egg yolk, but you have to admit they're pretty delicious. The UK factory produces 1.5 million of the eggs each day, and here in the states Hershey's (of course) has the marketing rights. There was a bit of Cadbury controversy in 2007 when B.J. Novak pointed out that the eggs had shrunk. Now they each weigh 34 g and contain 150 calories, while previously they weighed 39 g and contained 170 calories. The company denied the claims.
1 Only Half Of The U.S. States Ban Dying Chicks
You guys. As if dying eggs wasn't enough, some people out there feel like it's necessary to dye the living chicks out there for Easter as well. The process actually happens when the chicks are still in the egg, and the nontoxic color is injected into the embryo. Only one color injection is necessary. The color only lasts a few weeks since they shed their fluff to grow their grownup feathers, and supposedly if the dye is nontoxic it's safe for them. The practice is sometimes even used for research. Yikes.