In many ways we are so different from our Victorian forbears but in many ways we are so similar…so what of a Victorian Easter.
Well Easter was not about chocolate eggs but a celebration that Jesus had risen from the grave. Faith and religion was of far more importance to the Victorians than to our society today.
Britain in The Victorian Era was a Christian nation with firm beliefs which was in many ways a strength and a direction for many. Easter falls at the end of the winter and the end of Lent, which is a time of fasting during the Christian calendar. This is a joyful holiday marked by feasting, fun and celebration.
Easter cards arrived in Victorian England when a stationer added a greeting to a drawing of a rabbit and had a limited appeal.
Boiled eggs were traditionally eaten for breakfast, the eggs symbolising new life then Easter cards and gifts would be exchanged.
The traditional main meal on Easter Day is Roast lamb, this is also the main dish at Jewish Passover. This would be followed by an Easter pudding of custard tarts sprinkled with currants and flat Easter biscuits which contain spices, currants and on occasions grated lemon rind.
Simnel cake which is quite similar to a Christmas Cake is baked for tea. The cake is a rich fruitcake covered with a thick layer of marzipan, however a layer of marzipan is also traditionally baked into the middle of the cake with eleven balls of marzipan are placed around the top to represent the eleven true disciples Judas being the exception of course.
And of course Easter wouldn’t be Easter without the chocolate egg and it was John Cadbury who first made his first Easter eggs that were solid through in 1842 but his first Easter eggs as we would recognise them came about in 1875.
The first eggs were made of smooth plain chocolate and were filled with dragees. A dragée is a snack sized type of confectionery which can have decorative or maybe symbolic purpose and it is from then where we arrive at the present day with all sorts or shapes and sizes of chocolate eggs.
A Happy Easter to one and all!