A Short History of Easter Traditions

A rabbit peeps out of a basket next to a nest full of eggs on an Easter card

A Short History of Easter Traditions

Most of society’s Easter traditions are centuries old. Some traditions — such as candy and egg hunts — are much newer, arriving on the scene when many of our modern traditions did, during the Victorian era.

Easter Candy

Mass produced sweet treats made specifically for Easter made their appearances in the 19th century.

Candy eggs began being produced during this time frame. The popular Cadbury cream eggs, for example, were first sold in 1875.

The first chocolate bunnies were produced in the early 20th century, thanks to mold technology.

Egg Hunts and Rolls

White House egg roll during the 1910s
White House egg roll during the 1910s

Children participated in egg hunts and games involving eggs such as egg toss and egg croquet.

Eggs varied from colorful to elaborately decorated.

The first White House egg roll was held in 1878. The first rolls, however, were held at the Capitol building grounds. The tradition was soon outlawed, as it took a toll on the landscaping.

White House egg rolling was suspended during World War I.

Enjoy vintage Easter photos? Visit my Pinterest board Easter: 1890-1920.

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Updated: 23 October 2020
Melina Druga
Most kids have an active imagination. My imagination has stayed strong into adulthood, and I’ve funneled that creativity into a successful writing career. I write history, both fiction and nonfiction, because although your school history classes may have been boring, the past is not. My goal is to bring the past to life in all its myriad of colors.

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