Has Easter lost its religious meaning?

THERE has been national outcry recently after The National Trust and Cadbury made the decision to axe the word “Easter” from the name of its annual Easter egg hunt.

This movement towards dropping any religious connotation behind Easter has been faced with heavy criticism from Prime Minister Theresa May who has called the decision to drop the word as “absolutely ridiculous” and other faith leaders. 

The annual egg hunts at National Trust properties around the country over the Easter weekend have been running in partnership with Cadbury for 10 years. Roughly 300 will be taking place this year. 

The giving of eggs at Easter has been traced back to Egyptian, Greek and Roman times. They said that the egg was a symbol of life.
The giving of eggs at Easter has been traced back to Egyptian, Greek and Roman times. They said that the egg was a symbol of life.

Previously called an “Easter Egg Trail” but this year it has been promoted as “Cadbury’s Great British Egg Hunt” — dropping any religious overtones.

The joint campaign’s decision to drop the word Easter was also criticised by family descendants of the original founder of Cadbury, John Cadbury.  The firm, which has been sold to US company Kraft, is one of several successful British firms founded by Quakers 

A descendant of John Cadbury remarked that “as a Quaker, he didn’t celebrate Easter”.

Sales at Easter time make up 10% of the UK's chocolate spending for the entire year.
Sales at Easter time make up 10% of the UK’s chocolate spending for the entire year.

Quakers are members of a faith with Christian roots, but they do not celebrate festivals that are typically celebrated by Christians, such as Easter and Christmas. 

The Church of England has accused organisations Cadbury and the National Trust of “airbrushing faith” by dropping the word Easter. 

And this isn’t the first time Cadbury have come under fire for ignoring the religious meaning of Easter, last year they came under fire for dropping any mentioned of the word Easter from their Easter egg packaging. 

A YouGov poll reveals that Easter’s religious meaning was important to a mere 17% of Britons.

And for those that still want to enjoy their Easter chocolate adorned with religious connotations, ‘The Real Easter Egg’ manufactured by The Meaningful Chocolate Company, and launched in 2010, is an Easter egg that carries the Christian message.

High street shops are filled with rows of cards to celebrate Easter.
High street shops are filled with rows of cards to celebrate Easter.

The eggs — which are made from Fairtrade chocolate — come with a 24 page story book illustrating the meaning of Easter, with a donation to charity being made from its sales.

Listen below to find out the views of the public.

By Alissa Kirkwood (@alissakirkwood), Elektra Theophanous (@elektrat96), Ivy Kamau (@ivynkamau)