With the emergence of Protestantism in the 16th century, Christian traditions, such as Lent, fasting, and celebration of Easter, began to change again. Liturgical decrees during the Easter period were dropped and various traditions developed. The key change was many Protestant denominations dropped Lent. This had more to do with separating themselves from the Catholic church than a rejection of the traditions themselves. However, Anglican traditions did retain Lent and Eastern Orthodox and Eastern churches in general have retained a form of Lent. One thing that remained consistent is the timing of when to celebrate Easter, even though the specific day celebrated was often not likely the day Christ would have resurrected.
The use of candy or having candies in celebrating Easter likely connects to the festivals held in Easter. For Catholics, after fasting, the Easter celebration was often conducted with indulgence in food, drink and sweet foods. Before arriving in the New World, chocolate was not used. However, by the early 19th century chocolate used in the form of eggs began to appear in France and Germany. The Cadbury company in Britain also began creating chocolate eggs by 1875. These 19th century chocolates were usually made from dark chocolate and added with dragees. German, French and other European traditions may have influenced the idea to decorate chocolate eggs as well, where the Cadbury company also developed this practice in Britain and making it a distinctly Victorian style of celebration that later spread and is still with us. It was not until 1916, however, when the Bortz chocolate factory, in Pennsylvania, came up with the idea of the chocolate bunny. They even filled their bunnies with chocolate filling or cream, with that tradition having continued to be popular.