Egg hunt is a game during which decorated eggs, real hard-boiled ones or artificial, filled with or made of chocolate candies, of various sizes, are hidden in various places for children to find. The game may be both indoors and outdoors.
When the hunt is over, prizes may be given out for various achievements, such as the largest number of eggs collected, for the largest or smallest egg, for the most eggs of a specific color, consolation prizes, booby prizes, etc.
Eggs are placed with varying degree of concealment, to accommodate children of varying ages. In South German folk traditions it was customary to add extra obstacles to the game by placing them into hard-to reach places among nettles or thorns.
The egg was a symbol of the rebirth of the earth in Pagan celebrations of spring and was adopted by early Christians as a symbol of the rebirth of man at Easter. The egg symbol was likened to the tomb from which Christ arose. Traditionally the game is associated with Easter and Easter eggs (Easter egg hunt), but it has also been popular with spring time birthday parties.
At least since the 17th century the idea of the Easter Bunny to bring the easter eggs has been known.
The novelty of the introduction of Easter egg hunts into England is evidenced by A. E. Housman's inaugural lecture as Professor of Latin at University College, London in 1892, in which he said, "In Germany at Easter time they hide coloured eggs about the house and garden that the children may amuse themselves in discovering them."
- "An April Birthday Party", by Margaret Remington, The Puritan, April–September 1900.
- Venetia Newall (1971) An Egg at Easter: A Folklore Study, p. 323
- Warwickshire County Council: The history of the Easter egg Retrieved on 2008-03-17
- A. E. Housman, Collected Poems and Selected Prose (Penguin Books, 1989), at page 274.