Origin of the Easter Basket (including fun facts and craft ideas)
The Easter basket tradition was brought to North American shores by German families in the 1700s.
In place of baskets, children set out their caps or bonnets, filled with straw, and were delighted to find colored, hard-cooked eggs nestled inside them in the morning. By the 1800s, candy was commonly tucked into the baskets, as well.
The Easter Bunny evolved from a number of traditions, some dating back thousands of years. In ancient Egypt, the rabbit was recognized as a symbol of fertility and renewal – a belief that traveled to Europe in the Middle Ages where it became entwined with the symbolism of eggs as a symbol of fertility and rebirth during spring time.
It became natural, centuries later, for these symbols to turn up in our Easter baskets as chocolate bunnies and egg-shaped candies.
Easter Basket fun facts
• Today, the The National Confectioners Association estimates that nearly 80% of American parents put together Easter baskets for their children.
• The most popular goodies found in baskets on Easter morning are chocolate bunnies. They are followed by jelly beans, cream-filled chocolate eggs, and Peeps. Other popular items usually include crayons and coloring books, small toys, and bubble gum.
• Jelly Belly Candy Company reports that the jelly bean became associated
with Easter in the 1930s. The small candies were placed in nests and looked similar to birds' eggs (also see: National Jelly Bean Day.)
Make your own Easter table or basket decoration
Gather the family to help make this easy homemade Easter "carrot" basket-filler made with orange jelly beans and bright, green ribbon....
What you'll need:
1 large roll stiff cello wrap
Orange jelly beans
Clear adhesive tape
1. Using a stiff, clear cello wrap, cut a 15-inch square. Then cut the square on the diagonal, making two triangles.
2. With the triangle point on top, wrap the sides to make a cone. Make sure that the two tips of the triangle
meeting the top point, and that the bottom of the cone is closed.
3. Gently grip the cone in one hand, holding it upright, and fill with 6 ounces of orange jelly beans. Twist the top closed and tape the seam on the cone.
4. Tie the top with a bright green bow and use for table and or basket decorations.
You can try a 10 inch square pattern and fill with two ounces of jelly beans to make a 4-inch carrot.
More about Easter egg basket decorating around the Web: