How the tradition of Easter Egg Hunts started

How the tradition of Easter Egg Hunts started

Posted by Ronnie @ German Christmas Shop

For many of us, Easter just would not be the same without an Easter Egg hunt. The tradition of searching for eggs left by the Easter bunny is loved throughout the world and there is nothing quite like the surprise and wonder of children finding colourful eggs on an Easter morning.


Did you know that the tradition of an Easter egg hunt is in fact German?

The custom of hiding and searching for eggs is said to have originated in Germany in the 1600’s, at about the same time as Martin Luther was making some big changes n Europe. By the time Christianity came around, the symbol of an egg as new life was already ancient. The egg became a representation of the resurrection of Jesus, with the shell representing his tomb and in its earliest form, the Easter Egg hunt was a way to symbolise the group of women who travelled to Christ’s tomb to find it empty.


Over time, the German tradition of the Easter egg hunt became linked to the ‘Osterhase’ or ‘Easter Hare’ (Easter Bunny). This cotton-tailed legend is responsible for travelling across gardens, spreading Easter cheer by hiding eggs.




So why do we have Easter eggs hunts if they are German?

That’s where our old friend Queen Victoria comes in. Just like Christmas tree decorations, it was Queen Victoria who popularised them. Being married to a German (Prince Albert), The royal family observed many German traditions around the holidays, the Easter egg hunt being one of them.


She and Prince Albert would hide eggs for their children on the Thursday before Easter known as ‘Maundy Thursday’ in German.



From there, the tradition has grown across the world, from Europe to the USA and on the Australia, Easter just would not be the same without an Easter Egg hunt!

Traditions and trends with Eggs

Yes, like most things there have been trends over time with Easter Eggs. A traditional hunt was always for hard-boiled eggs, usually coloured by cooking with onion skins to give a rich, golden colour. 

From the mid 1800’s though, artificial eggs became popular as Victorian households had more income and the tradition grew in popularity. For most of us growing up, an Easter egg of the chocolate variety was the most common but that has started to change.

Did you know that the most popular reason our customers buy plain-coloured Easter egg ornaments is for an Easter egg hunt?


Over time, people have become more aware of the amount of chocolate (and sugar) that we all consume over Easter, particularly in Australia, the world’s largest consumer of chocolate Easter eggs per person! We have found that many of our customers still gie loved ones some chocolate over Easter but our simple wooden eggs, sustainably made and softly coloured, are a much better alternative for an Easter egg hunt. 

No matter the kind of egg though, the Easter egg hunt is just plain fun so enjoy making memories this year with this wonderful tradition.



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