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As we start planning for Easter, our thoughts go to Easter eggs. But why eggs? What's the story?

Easter eggs, egg decoration and Easter egg hunts are all integral to our Easter traditions – but why is that?

Well, the egg is an ancient symbol of fertility and rebirth and the tradition of decorating eggs is also ancient – a 60,000 years old decorated and engraved ostrich egg was discovered in Africa!

  

Eggs were often boiled with natural ingredients to turn them different colours – boiling with walnut shells can turn the eggs black, tree bark can turn them black or golden, and beetroot turns them red. In Greece, one of the oldest traditions of Easter is to dye eggs red.

A batik-like technique is used to decorate eggs in Central Europe, such as the Ukrainian pysanka and the Polish pisanka eggs.

But the fanciest (and probably most expensive!) eggs were those created by Fabergé for the Russian Tsars as gifts for their wives and mothers.

Egg ‘tapping’ is another a common eggy tradition, where 2 eggs are tapped together and the winner is the person with the last egg to break. In Greece this is called tsougrisma, in Switzerland it’s Ostereiertitschen, in the Netherlands it’s called eiertikken and in the north of England the tradition is called ‘egg jarping’ or ‘egg dumping’.

A few more eggy facts:

  • The first chocolate Easter eggs were made by French and German confectioners in the 19th Century
  • The first chocolate Easter egg in Britain was introduced by J.S. Fry & Sons of England in 1873
  • Every year in the UK 80 million Easter eggs are sold
  • The largest Easter egg ever was made by Tosca, Italy, in 2011 and weighed 7,200 kg, was over 10m tall and had a circumference of over 19m

At eatsleepdoodle we love a good Easter Egg Hunt and we usually plan it out in advance on our tablecloth!

If your kids love reading about prehistoric eggs (and what kid doesn't?) then why not treat them to a Colour & Learn Dinosaur pillowcase? Lots of dinosaurs were hatched out of eggs - like the amazing Oviraptors.

eatsleepdoodle colour & learn dinosaur

The Oviraptor was initially thought to have been an egg thief - that's what its name means - as its fossils were discovered on top of the remains of prehistoric eggs! It turns out those were probably its own eggs that it had been sitting on when it died in its nest!

You can find out more about some of the dinosaurs featured in our eatsleepdoodle Colour & Learn range here.