Delve into the history and origins of the Christian festival of Easter and you come up with a few surprises. For instance, Easter eggs do not owe their origins to Christianity and originally the festival of Easter itself and the giving of Easter gifts had nothing to do with Christianity either. A closer look at the history of both Easter and the Easter Egg reveals a much earlier association with pagan ritual and in particular, the pagan rites of spring, dating back into pre history.
As well as adopting the pagan festival of Eostre, the Egg, representing fertility and re-birth in pagan times, was also adopted as part of the Christian Easter festival and it came to represent the 'resurrection' or re-birth of Christ after the crucifixion, Some Christians believe it is a symbol of the the stone blocking the Sepulchre being 'rolled' away.
In the UK and Europe, the earliest Easter eggs were painted and decorated hen, duck or goose eggs, a practice still carried on in many parts of the world today. As time went by, artificial eggs were made and by the end of the 17th century, manufactured eggs made of various materials were available for purchase at Easter, for giving as Easter gifts and presents.
It was at about this time (early 1800's) that the first chocolate Easter eggs appeared in Germany and France and soon spread to the rest of Europe and beyond. The first chocolate eggs were solid and they were soon followed by hollow eggs. Making hollow eggs at that time was no mean feat, because the easily worked chocolate we use today didn't exist then, they had to use a crude paste made from ground roasted Cacao beans.