Easter is around the corner, with Easter Sunday falling on April 20 this year. The holiday, which is the oldest Christian holiday, celebrates the resurrection of Christ three days after his death, is religiously rooted but has evolved with time. It is celebrated by people around the world of varying religions and has become associated with Easter eggs, bunnies, and the arrival of spring. Here are six facts, trivia, statistics and numbers surrounding Easter:
1. American households spend an estimated $131 on Easter each year, which totals to $14.7 billion in total.
2. Easter is one of the biggest holidays for consuming candy. In fact, if you exclude Halloween, Easter is the biggest candy consuming holiday with 120 million pounds of candy bought each year. For the holiday, 90 million chocolate bunnies, 91.4 billion eggs, and 700 million peeps are produced each year. Also: Americans consume 16 billion jelly beans on Easter.
3. And speaking of chocolate bunnies, did you know 76 percent of people eat the ears of the bunny first, 5 percent eat the feet first and 4 percent eat the tail first? Now you know.
4. Celebrating with Easter gifts, eggs and bunnies is a tradition that dates back to the 13th century, according to the University of Florida's Center for Children's Literature and Culture. During this time, in pre-Christian Germany, many gods and goddesses were worshipped in line with pagan beliefs and culture. Around the same time as Easter, on the Vernal Equinox, feasts were held in the honor of a Teutonic deity Eostra, the goddess of spring and fertility. Eostra's symbol was a rabbit, as the creature has a high reproduction rate. In the 15th century, Roman Catholicism became the dominant religion in Germany. It was during this time that pagan beliefs merged with the celebration of Easter and in turn, created the foundation for the association of the bunny and eggs with the resurrection of Christ.
5. Germany first made chocolate eggs for Easter in the 19th century. The Easter egg is symbolic of rebirth, but using eggs to celebrate is a tradition that dates back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, Romans and the Zoroastrians in Persia who dyed eggs to celebrate the start of spring. The Chinese also dye eggs when a newborn enters the world.
6. Easter is celebrated differently around the world. In Guatemala, people make carpets of sawdust and flowers that measure up to a mile in length. The carpet is incredible details and takes weeks to make. People walk over the carpet on their way to church.