One of the wonders of springtime is the abundance of colorful displays put on by a waking world. For centuries, it has seemed more than fitting to join the celebration of new life with a wide variety of Easter candy colors. Well before Christianity staked claim to this special time of year, the ancients had their own way of celebrating rebirth, and the delicacy of choice was the egg.
Hindus, Phoenicians, Persians, and Egyptians honored the egg and made the process of decorating it into a regular art form. Earliest efforts included dyes from roots, bark, leaves, tea, coffee, fruits, edible flowers, and even vegetables. To make the patterns more intricate, the eggs were wrapped in ferns before being immersed in dyes.
The Ukrainians created bold solid-red eggs that reminded them of the shed blood of Christ on the cross. Egg-rolling contests symbolized the rolling away of the stone that covered the entrance to Jesus' tomb. The Macedonians became skilled at creating etchings. The 57 famous Russian Faberge eggs were never meant for snacking! Delicately crafted of gold, silver and jewels, they exist in private and museum collections today.
However, Easter candy colors are found in many other forms besides the egg. Rabbits and hares were the pre-Christian symbols of fertility and reproduction for obvious reasons. Since spring is the time when so many animals bring forth their babies, it only makes sense that candy bunnies would eventually make their way into the Easter celebrations. The first ones date back to Germany. They were made of pastry and sugar.
In the 1700s, the Pennsylvania Dutch introduced these treats and colored eggs to America. While little girls carefully hid their bonnets and little boys hid their caps, it was believed that the "Oschter Haws" would come and fill their "nests" with beautifully colored eggs if they were especially good at Easter time.
Today, parents can buy yummy Reeses Peanut Butter Eggs, Cadbury Creme Eggs and Snickers Chocolate Bunnies at Dollar General Stores. Old Time Candy sells Chocolate Eggs in brightly colored Easter Foil, Easter Hershey's Kisses in bulk bags, Easter Twirl Pops on sticks, Gummi Bunnies and Pastel Candy Corn. Discriminating shoppers might prefer Lindt Chocolate Mini Chicks, Carrots, Truffle Eggs, or rich Milk-Chocolate Bunnies.
The perennial favorite seasonal candy is produced by Just Born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Who hasn't enjoyed this company's famous yellow chicks? Peeps now come in a variety of Easter candy colors. White marshmallow bunnies, blue party-cake eggs, multi-colored Jelly Beans, pink bubble gum Peeps, and Chocolate-Dipped Marshmallow Chicks are just a few of the many choices. Peeps are also sold in lavender, green, orange, and a rainbow of other shades.
Whether you prefer hard boiling and decorating your own eggs for a family egg hunt or purchasing eight-inch chocolate bunnies from the store, Easter is a wonderful time to celebrate. The long winter has finally passed and new life is returning once more, clothed in a bright array of spring colors. Why not purchase or create your own basket of assorted Easter candy colors and sweets that can be shared with the entire family? It's the perfect time. After all, Easter comes but once a year.
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