You could hear the machinery rumbling months ago. Confectionary stands started popping up everywhere; the reds and greens of Christmas were replaced by whites and yellows. Images and effigies of a rotund man in red overalls were being replaced by a jolly rabbit in a tenuous-figurehead changing of the guard. Easter is on its way, y'all.
Always further away than you think it is; Easter is a curious of event. It is a holiday steeped in religion, with the resurrection of Jesus being the focal point, but its main symbol in modern society is that of an egg.
The use of the egg in Easter is primarily meant to represent rebirth, which doesn't really make sense to me. When I think of eggs I think more along the lines of mystery. What came first, the chicken or the egg? Is Jesus the egg? Does that make God a chicken? Jesus apparently ascended to heaven so his flying credentials are quite solid, which makes him less likely to be a chicken in this situation as chickens are infamously found lacking in the flight department.
The egg works well in terms of Easter, it is a nice symbol. The ancient Zoroastrians (history's smartarses) introduced the idea of eggs as symbols rebirth for their New Year's celebrations (by this I mean they painted and decorated eggs, rather than getting crunked on eggnog), the Catholic church then did what they often liked to do and took one of the Zoroastrians ideas and fitted it around their own needs (ie the devil). As with most things in life, we here in modern society has taken something/anything that had meaning and made it into chocolate, and we are all the better for it.
The other day as I went to the local shops to pick up an Easter egg as a treat for myself, when I got there I was met by the judgemental eye-rolling of the cashier. My crime? It was my third Easter egg in three days. So what! They are ace. They look like a huge chocolate, erm, egg, but are actually hollow so you are not eating as much as may seem.
They often come with a couple of chocolate bars too, which makes them cost effective, because it you buy an Easter egg with two Mars bars in it for £1, not only are you making an instant saving on the Mars bars (which are easily 52p+ individually) but your also getting an Easter egg too. They are fun to break into (my current favourite method is the 'head-bash') and encourage sharing with loved ones. So Easter eggs are delicious, economical, entertaining and are helping repair the shredded fabric of society. The ultimate holiday-based treat.
Whats that you say? Christmas cake? Are you trying to make me rage-laugh, because it's working. Christmas cake is an insult to the sacred name of Christmas food. The Christmas dinner is the Beatles of modern cooked meals, and what is it followed by? The Herman's Hermits of desserts. Christmas cake should come wrapped in trousers with an elasticated waist. It's a fruit cake?!? It's icing tastes like carpet and it has the molecular structure of clay. If Christmas cake was a James Bond it would be played by Stodger Poor.
The nearest rival to the Easter egg is the birthday cake. I am a huge fan of birthday cake, but the issue with it is that it is so moreish ("ooh, I'll just have another slither") that before you know it, you have eaten half of Sponge Bob SquarePants' face and you are lying in agony in the foetal position in the centre of the room like a chump, clutching your stomach and praying for the pain to stop. Happy Birthday!
The Easter egg knows its boundaries. It gives you the good stuff, but knows where the line is, Birthday cake doesn't even acknowledge a world where there are lines, the arrogant son-of-a-gun.
As you are probably aware I'm primarily concentrating on Christian holidays here, I've never had Hamantash, but I'm sure they are nice, so apologies to people of other faiths (man, that seems to be my catchphrase nowadays).
(Philip's Log: Idea for product: Easter Crème Egg. A Cadbury's crème egg the size of a standard Easter egg, comes with a packet of Twix as chocolate soldiers for dipping. Mark as CONFIDENTIAL).